Re: Figuring Things Out

1

Is this a question about body-fat percentage?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:09 AM
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Having briefly dated an Indian fellow once a very long time ago, this is a very easy question.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:15 AM
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This sounds a lot like one of those discussion-in-bars questions Megan has mentioned in the past. (And are you expecting the XX commentariat to answer the question? Well, stipulating equal levels of fluency in English, I'd vote for Inuit/Yupik. For no reason that I can really articulate. )


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:19 AM
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2: But you don't say which way it makes you lean.

I had an (Asian) Indian FWB several years ago. Good memories. I don't believe I have ever met an Inuit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:22 AM
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are you expecting the XX commentariat to answer the question?

Nah, we were just being silly, but I loved the sound of the formulated question.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:22 AM
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Though I guess I'm hardly the "average woman".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:23 AM
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Yeah, it's an easy question for me too, given the vast [nigh on uncountable] numbers of super-hot Indian women. This may also hold true of the Inuit, but there's not a thriving Inuit movie scene in which they dance about and lip-sync coquettishly to Lata Mangeshkar (and I've never met any Inuit).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:23 AM
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(Disclosure: I did not make this up.)

If you had to date someone who was half-fish, would you rather someone with a fish body, or a fish-head on legs?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:23 AM
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8: not an academic question for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety Fish | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:24 AM
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10

For the ladies, the Inuits probably have a bigger harpoon.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6161691.stm


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:24 AM
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Ah, I missed the 'average woman' part.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:24 AM
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12

(Disclosure: I did not make this up.)

You dated somebody who was half-fish?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:25 AM
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I saw a fillm once with a scene of hottt inuit sex and it looked (a) not that hot, in fact quite cold (b) smelly (lots of fish-gut handling when not rolling in the snow. So that's a data point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:25 AM
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13: You mean Atanajurat? I'm not sure it was supposed to be "hot." Okay, maybe it was, but it looked sort of accidental and cold.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:29 AM
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This is going to relate to an Iranian stereotype about Indians, isn't it?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:32 AM
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I've met a few Inuit. They did not inspire thoughts of sexy-time.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:32 AM
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Given the relative scarcities, and absent any other information, I would think that the answer would have to be "Inuit." For whichever value of "Indian."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:33 AM
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This is going to relate to an Iranian stereotype about Indians, isn't it?

Not really, because my friend is himself (part) Indian.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:34 AM
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14: oddly enough I don't think I do mean that. This was an older movie, and featured some white dude causing problems among the Inuit.

Maybe we have two data points!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:34 AM
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20

I don't know but I've been told that Inuit women are uncomfortable to fuck.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:35 AM
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You dated somebody who was half-fish?

He was sea-worthy, arrr.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:36 AM
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The main thing that I remember is that the depiction of Inuit sex as happening outside was accurate: there's no privacy in an Igloo, so you have to go find a comfy snowbank.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:37 AM
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This is the most racist thread we've ever had, you racists.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:38 AM
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This is going to relate to an Iranian stereotype about Indians, isn't it?

Are we on about this again? Stupid racist bastards.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:38 AM
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19: Ah, weird. Atanajurat centers on a situation in which a dude, huddled with his friend, his wife, and his friend's wife for warmth in bed, "accidentally" does his friend's wife, creating lots of angst. Then a nude guy runs while someone yells "Atanajuraaaaat!" That's all I remember. Everyone is portly and cute. They eat raw fish.

My MA thesis director kept insisting that I rent it, as if it would single-handedly help me to understand 18th-century rhetoric. It did not, and I wasn't totally entranced by it. To insist I was wrong, my director would periodically yell "Atanajuraaaat!" at me from across the hall.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:38 AM
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26

Drats, foiled again.

20: How uncomfortable to fuck?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:40 AM
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26: specifically, mighty cold.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:42 AM
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Theoretically Inuit marriages were somewhat open in certain circumstances.

I did know a very nice, cute Native Alaskan once at work. No further specification of nation. She was far too young and didn't seem happy.

Based on my studies, South Asian women never take their clothes off, except for the TV cook who just divorced Rushdie. So you should factor that in. I have no data on Inuit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:46 AM
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My experience is that in places where people can't get privacy, they don't go to enormous and uncomfortable lengths to get privacy. Instead, privacy just gets valued less.

This applies as much to student accommodation as it does to igloos.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:47 AM
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30

Off-topic PSA: Alice's Restaurant is now available at my site, for your Thanksgiving listening pleasure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:47 AM
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Nicholas Hoeg had that Greenland-Denmark murder mystery best seller a few years back that made Inuit seem interesting. There's no running water in the wild, though, and the stereotypical inuit doesn't live in the city, so would have a hard time staying clean. Control for this (city inuit with bleached teeth vs city indian with an interesting tattoo say), and retry.

AWB, is there a good biography of Defoe?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:48 AM
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32

Pwned by Marine marching cadence. That's got to be a first.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:50 AM
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33

He was sea-worthy, arrr.

Heebie wants to be a fish-wife.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:50 AM
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34

31: I honestly don't know. (I haven't read any literary biographies.) I can ask around!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:51 AM
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35

24: That's a great thread.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:51 AM
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36

Well, I have fucked an Indian (though he was born and bred in north London; does that count?), so I'll stick with that I think.

Heebs, dunno where you heard it from, but I heard it as a Ricky Gervais story. A friend of his reckoned fish head/ human body was better (because then you could have sex with it), but RG said the other way round, and the friend said something like, "Gervais you cunt, you just want to make her laugh!" I'd have to agree with Ricky; I can't imagine a fish head being at all appealing.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:56 AM
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37

35: Nigger please.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:57 AM
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38

I can't imagine a fish head being at all appealing.

I can't imagine a cloaca being much of a turn-on either, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:58 AM
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39

30:I would sooner eat razor blades. No offense, but I had heard the great garbage dump adventure 50 times before 1970.

We need some really vicious cynical Thanksgiving recommendations. I know some Roanoke horror movies, one with the stiff from the TV Highlander series. I am glad his name has escaped me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:58 AM
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40

37: That seems like a pretty bad WIE by ogged, which you might want to clean up.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:59 AM
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41

Ah, weird. Atanajurat centers on a situation in which a dude, huddled with his friend, his wife, and his friend's wife for warmth in bed, "accidentally" does his friend's wife, creating lots of angst. Then a nude guy runs while someone yells "Atanajuraaaaat!"

I think it was Atanarjuat's second wife sleeping with his brother. Atanarjuat hits her and she goes back to her... tribe? family's camp? And they send Atanarjuat's old rival (who was betrothed to his first wife) to kill Atanarjuat in his sleep; they kill his brother instead, and Atanarjuat runs out naked into the snow. And runs and runs and runs. And runs some more. As 20 would say, "Real cold."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:00 AM
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42

37: That seems like a pretty bad WIE by ogged, which you might want to clean up.

Keep reading the thread.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:02 AM
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43

39 - Blood Freak. I dream that this movie might someday become the It's a Wonderful Life of Thanksgiving.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:03 AM
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44

39: Pink Narcissus or Little Murders.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:04 AM
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45

Bitter Moon does not celebrate family. Freaks is really great, too. It's been decades since I've seen exploitative horror movies, so there's a lot that I've missed. I'm looking forward to Hellraiser for a dose of adult video.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:09 AM
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Heebie wants to be a fish-wife.

The fish all say, "Heebie, you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:10 AM
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47

Serial Mom, for the turkey leg scene.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:11 AM
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48

42: You have to follow the links in that thread back. Apo's wrong; ogged didn't say "No." Further evidence: there are other Lurs named "Merhdad," including--according to wiki--a poet named Mehrdad Avesta. If the comment is not from ogged, it's probably from the poet.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:13 AM
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49

They follow Heebie around vying to fertilize her million tiny eggs. Sometimes they're overeager and make little messes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:13 AM
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4: But you don't say which way it makes you lean.

Oh, yeah, got a little distracted by the reminiscing...

10: For the ladies, the Inuits probably have a bigger harpoon.

This is going to sound cliche, but size really isn't everything. (I.e., having a big dick won't make up for being a big dick.) Nevertheless, I have reason to suspect the size disparity may vary across the various ethnic groupings to be found throughout India.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:14 AM
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51

well, seems another place where i do not belong
arrivederchi


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:15 AM
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52

49: I'm still trying to figure out what Wideband Interface Equipment has to do with Freddy Mercury.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:16 AM
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53

Sorry, di.

The scientists even checked their sample was representative of India as a whole in terms of class, religion and urban and rural dwellers.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:16 AM
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54

30: I can't find the relevant thread in the archives, but I commend Mathowie's Community Blog to you.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:17 AM
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55

If I were going to be dining with said date, I'd have to go for the Indian. Somewhere in an old thread there's an excerpt from A Kayak Full of Ghosts about horrifying Inuit foodstuffs, but I can't find it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:17 AM
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56

The fish say: "Heebie, fetch another round"
She serves them whiskey and wine.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:17 AM
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57

Isn't "Lur" a mass noun with no plural form, like "mud"?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:17 AM
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58

I don't mean to brag (ah, who am I kidding? of course I do!), but my freshman year girlfriend is now a hott Bollywood star.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:18 AM
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59

No.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:18 AM
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60

53: Hmm. Well, admittedly I am basing my assessments on a ridiculously small sample size....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:20 AM
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55: not too appetizing by the standards of mainstream American tastes, no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:20 AM
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60: odd then that you would have reached the conclusion you did.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:21 AM
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63

ridiculously small sample

Whatever gets you off, babe.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:21 AM
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49: I'm still trying to figure out what Wideband Interface Equipment has to do with Freddy Mercury.

"WIE" is "w-lfs-n Indiscretion Error."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:21 AM
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63: Beggars can't be choosers.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:22 AM
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MMMMM I love Indian food.

The gf and I went to an Indian festival not long ago and were amazed at how many amazingly beautiful women there were.

The Inuit could help me learn how to kayak better and how to roll in cold water.

Tough call.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:23 AM
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I think Di's still good. None of the factors listed in #53 include sub-ethnicities (gawd knows what the right word is).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:23 AM
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I have a Mineshaft question:

I have a friend in Chicago who needs to get laid. Will someone please help her find some physical activity of a sexual nature?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:25 AM
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69

Man, the one post I skipped in the archives.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:25 AM
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70

Here you go, Will's friend.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:27 AM
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I have a friend in Chicago who needs to get laid. Will someone please help her find some physical activity of a sexual nature?

Calling all Kotskos!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:27 AM
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68: Buy her a ticket for DC at the end of December.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:29 AM
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73

Kotsko is not to be trusted in these matters.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:30 AM
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74

I neglected to add that she would prefer a physical activity involving more of a cardiovascular workout, not something more in the nature of a sprint workout.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:30 AM
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75

Buy her a ticket for DC at the end of December.

Second caveat:
Her preference is for it to be of a non-deviant nature.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:32 AM
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24: Just for clarity's sake, Cyrus Daruwalla is not me.

8, 36, 38... actually, it looks like there might be an excluded middle in 8... um, pun not intended.
If you had to date someone who was half-fish, would you rather someone with a fish body, or a fish-head on legs?

I assume the first option means something a lot like a mermaid, right? If so, that's what I'd go with. There's more to sex than piv, after all. And there's more to dating than sex, and it would be easier to carry on a conversation with a human face.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:32 AM
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75: why on earth are you asking here, then?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:33 AM
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78

why on earth are you asking here, then?

Hoping someone knew an Inuit?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:34 AM
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79

Why can't our half-fish partners be divided longitudinally?

Or in alternating person-fish slices?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:34 AM
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80

Or just fish on the inside.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:35 AM
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81

It's fish all the way down.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:36 AM
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82

Or just fish on the inside.

A fish-eo!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:37 AM
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83

That second caveat is flexible, actually. As am I...


Posted by: Will's friend | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:37 AM
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84

80: How low your fruit doth hang, good sir.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:37 AM
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85

Re: Atanarjuat (which is fun to yell randomly, as per 25), there are actually two sex scenes, and I thought the first one, where Atanarjuat is seduced by his second wife-to-be, was kinda hot. The second was kind of not.

Oh, and the same filmmakers also made The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, which wasn't nearly as good. I dozed off in the theatre.

Atanarjuat!


Posted by: icathing | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:38 AM
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86

82: racist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:39 AM
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87

I'm waiting for Emerson to show up and tell us how much he enjoys salt cod.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:39 AM
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88

Or just fish on the inside.

It couldn't be worse than crocodile on the inside.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:40 AM
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89

A fish-eo!

My daughter's teacher just emailed me to tell me that my daughter made a turkey out of an oreo.

Directions:

Open an oreo cookie and place the filling side face up. Take another one on the open filling side.

Place a hershey's kiss for the head on the filling of the bottom piece (kiss on the side).

Place candy corn pieces for feather on filling of back piece.

Next enjoy the turkey!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:41 AM
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84: the better to spear-fish with, chum!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:41 AM
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91

Would Emerson date a cod-woman?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:41 AM
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92

Thanks, heebie - I never remember for the annual broadcast, and catching the last 10 minutes isn't the same without the buildup.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:41 AM
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93

79 - because that would be freaky.

Strangely, this is the second time I've been thinking about half-fish people in 2 days. I sent a friend a link to Magritte's inversted mermaid yesterday for her son.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:41 AM
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Not all Inuit food is raw. Some is fermented for several months, sort of like Vietnamese rotten fish sauce. The Icelanders have a similar fermented-shark dish that they probably learned from Greenlanders (there have never been Inuit on Iceland).

Dried cod is more of a challenge or a feat of daring than it is a delicacy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:42 AM
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95

would you rather someone with a fish body, or a fish-head on legs?

Would the top half look like Daryl Hannah?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:46 AM
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96

Or Don Knotts?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:47 AM
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97

Is "Cyrus" in "Cyrus the Great" really pronounced "Kyrus"? Did the British transliterate all Greek kappas into C's, and then mispronounce the C's? I knew about Cyprus and Cyclades, but somehow I never imagined it was a systematic error.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:47 AM
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Dried cod is more of a challenge or a feat of daring than it is a delicacy

Have you ever eaten bolinhos de bacalhau, Emerson? Mmmmmm.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:49 AM
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94: Note that kaestur hakarl is fermented not for taste reasons, but because if you don't allow all the uric acid in the Greenland shark flesh to break down (in an underground pit), you'll die from internal bleeding almost immediately.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:51 AM
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88 is horrifying.

If there's a worse possible death than being eaten alive by a giant reptile, I can't imagine what it might be.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:52 AM
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Is "Cyrus" in "Cyrus the Great" really pronounced "Kyrus"?

In Farsi, it's Koorosh, with "o" in "rosh" being long.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:52 AM
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My college dorm roommate was seriously untidy. Two weeks before moveout, I put a bacalau in the middle of his laundry pile. When he found it (had to take the dirty clothes home for his mom to wash), he asked if it was me. I asked him "Dude, would I do that to you?"


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:54 AM
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103

100: maybe being eaten alive from the inside by vengeful shark flesh?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:54 AM
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104

Focus people!

Who will bed my friend?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:56 AM
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105

At which point he beat you about the head?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:56 AM
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106

Jesus, sorry, 92 to 30. I guess I accidentally spent some time off-line.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:56 AM
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97: I'm pretty sure we get the spelling Cyrus from the Greek Κύρος.

From your examples, it seems systematic only when it's followed by a y (upsilon). And that probably has to do with re-interpreting the y as "ee" or "eye," which usually softens c's in English (central, civil).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:56 AM
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108

"Vengfulness" ascribes more agency than I would have applied to actual sharks, let alone their flesh, but what do I know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:58 AM
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109

105 continues 104, poetically.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:59 AM
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110

I used to yell "Atanajuraaaat!" at Snark a lot for a while there.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:00 AM
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Is "Cyrus" in "Cyrus the Great" really pronounced "Kyrus"? Did the British transliterate all Greek kappas into C's, and then mispronounce the C's? I knew about Cyprus and Cyclades, but somehow I never imagined it was a systematic error.

It's worse than that - the "y" isn't pronounced in any of the ways commonly used for Greek words. The Romans added Y because their V/U didn't sound like the Greek upsilon, which is a sort of pure u sound - almost like oo (this changed a bit from Homeric to Classical, so adjust accordingly). But the bottom line is that, far from sounding like sye-russ, or even kye-russ, it should be more like koo-ross. Which, as ogged has helpfully shown, is a decent transliteration from the Farsi.

PS - The Germans are the only ones who pronounce "Caesar" correctly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:02 AM
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112

That would've made an interesting addendum to the vows.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:02 AM
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113

108: but the real question is, how does any entity become filled with "Veng"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:03 AM
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114

I pronounce it a mediocre salad.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:03 AM
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115

Can we send will's friend to the Chicago MLA meetup? There's got to be some awkward tender moments goin' on there.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:04 AM
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111: We should also be sure to blame the Romans for translating kappa as C. They should have known people would start softening it thousands of years later.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:05 AM
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117

What is the rule for Latin? Is C always pronounced K?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:05 AM
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it seems systematic only when it's followed by a y

Actually no. There was no Greek letter "C" in Classical times (sigma later became a weird case, in Byzantine times). So any "C" in a Greek-derived word is wrong, and would always have been hard. Heraklês. Kirkê. Klytaimestra. (ae in English is ai in Greek, via ae in Latin)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:06 AM
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I have heard the fish-heads singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to Heebie.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

She has lingered in the chambers of the sea
By fishy bodies wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till Jammies' voice wakes her, and she drowns.


Posted by: sin | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:06 AM
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Also, Atanajurat was a great movie, and you are all blasphemers! Against the Eskimo God!


Posted by: sin | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:08 AM
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What is the rule for Latin? Is C always pronounced K?

As far as I know, for Classical Latin. The "ch" thig is Medieval Church Latin, I believe.

I love to see Greek transliterated into German, because, while the two languages are comically different, German pronunciation rules get you excellent Greek.

You know, any minute now, Ben or BG will come along and expose me for the dilettante that I am.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:09 AM
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Plus, it's spelled Atanarjuat. ATANARJUAAAAAAAT!


Posted by: icathing | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:10 AM
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107. "C"s from Kappas are softened before "i" and "e" too - after all "centre" is originally from Κέντρον. But the transliteration was all done by the Romans, including the proper names, and the "c" went soft in late Latin, which is why there's some version of a soft "c" in all romance languages.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:10 AM
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122 is correct. I was wrong above.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:11 AM
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97-Did the British transliterate all Greek kappas into C's, and then mispronounce the C's?

Well, the Romans are largely to blame for the transliteration part, but otherwise, yeah. And it's not just before y/upsilon, it's any place where in English you'd use the silibant (see, e.g., Circe vs. Cappadocia).


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:12 AM
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104: I'm quite dissapointed in our chicago area contingent.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:15 AM
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on original topic, I was born one of these two places, but suspect it doesn't count.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:17 AM
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126: Not attractive enough for you, soup?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:17 AM
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128: Not at all -- I was agreeing with will that there was a serious lack of focus on this important question. Particularly from anyone remotely close to Chicago.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:19 AM
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will is a tireless advocate, but has perhaps taken on a more difficult challenge than he thinks.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:21 AM
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130: not to mention one that is rather orthogonal to his specialty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:22 AM
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If I lived anywhere near Chicago, I'd be all over that offer. Perhaps liberals really are girly-men after all.


Posted by: sin | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:22 AM
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131: This has yet to be determined, really. For all we know this could be directly in service of his speciality.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:24 AM
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133: somewhat puzzling definition of "friend," if so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:26 AM
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Did the British transliterate all Greek kappas into C's, and then mispronounce the C's?

The collective responsibility of the Roman people has been well-established on this point, but there's a funny side-note implicating the English as well. When Classical Greek was "rediscovered" in the Renaissance West, huge efforts were put into figuring out how it was pronounced (Erasmus kind of did it on his own, but others worked on it too). Everyone pretty much came to agreement, except for the English. Well into the last century (and maybe still, for all I know), people who learned Classical Greek in England pronounced it differently from anyone else in the West (except the Greeks themselves, who I understand tend to pronounce it as if it were Modern Greek - although that may be exaggerated).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:27 AM
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A divorce lawyer's specialty isn't the prevention of people getting laid. On the contrary. A divorce lawyer wants to free two people to get laid in as many and diverse fashions as their fancy dictates. Will is acting quite consistently.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:30 AM
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Sort of a follow-up, then. Got it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:32 AM
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Enough of this fish stuff, ladeez - would you have a relationship with a guy who turns into a seal now and then? Would his preference for eating his fish raw whilst basking on a rock be a problem? Would you feel guilty if you stole his skin and made a nice coat out of it?

Why aren't you all off cooking and baking pies and all that jazz???

[Would the Indian guy have a cute husky? They're my favourite dog.]


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:33 AM
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Where there's a will, there's a lay.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:34 AM
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136: Will is acting quite consistently.

Perhaps. But if so, his purpose is at odds with the central theme of this blog, which is that of unrequited longing.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:42 AM
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would you have a relationship with a guy who turns into a seal now and then?

A male selkie?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:46 AM
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Where there's a will, there's a lay.

Already on his business card.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:46 AM
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140: No, see, his intent is to generate unrequited longing by all the non-Chicago men for his hot and flexible Chicago friend. You just know all you coastal types are lamenting, "Oh, why, why dear Lord, why am I not in the Windy City?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:47 AM
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Did wossname's friend in Seattle ever have any success?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:54 AM
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144: she apparently did achieve her goals, yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:56 AM
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his intent is to generate unrequited longing by all the non-Chicago men for his hot and flexible Chicago friend.

Did I limit my request to men? If so, please disregard that limitation.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:58 AM
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143: Perhaps he intends to generate longing for Chicago.

Will is a tourism board plant!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:58 AM
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Divorce lawyers are the heroes of our time, but that more effort should be put into relationship-prevention.

Imagine the divorce lawyer as a dentist drilling and pulling and filling relationship-damaged teeth, with all the pain and mess involved, and then imagine a relation-proofing substance in the drinking water like fluoride, and everyone smiling and happy all the time with nice white teeth.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:01 PM
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Mmmmm, candy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:02 PM
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146: Bi Kotimy, call your office.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:03 PM
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Bi Kotimy, call your office

I'm pretty sure will's friend would grow bored of my hot, hot lovin' before too long.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:07 PM
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I don't mean to brag (ah, who am I kidding? of course I do!), but my freshman year girlfriend is now a hott Bollywood star.

Dude, you really have a death wish, don't you?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:15 PM
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Bi Kotimy, call your office.

That made me laugh. But, Di has already told me that she only likes men.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:16 PM
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And battery operated devices. Men and battery operated devices. Not necessarily in that order.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:21 PM
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Sorry Will, it's Thanksgiving. Time to stuff ourselves in other ways, for once.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:40 PM
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Hey, wait a minute, I'm going to be in Chicago in a few hours (inshallah).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:42 PM
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I like ladies, but I won't be in Chicago until December. Sad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:44 PM
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I've already forwarded 156 to the DHS at O'Hare. Ogged, the nation will know you soon.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:53 PM
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While we're on the subject of Chicago: I'm going to be there (for the first time) in December as well--staying with an ex-boyfriend for a week--any of you sick chumps have suggestions for entertaining or awkward Chicago-based activities suitable for amusing or horrifying exes?


Posted by: caldwellian | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 12:59 PM
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Dude, you really have a death wish, don't you?

A couple of decades have gone by since I was a freshman in college, so I think this safely qualifies as bygones.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:09 PM
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Humorlessly, this post reminds me of a really sweet and brilliant Inuit student I had once (a young woman), and I'm sincerely bothered thinking of her likely reaction to it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:11 PM
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Just hassling you. I gather from the threads that I've just been reading (work and life-related program activities having interfered with my commenting time the last few days) that all is well, which is good, but which means that we're once again responsible for providing your daily ration of grief, no?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:13 PM
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161: hypothetically, would you rather have sex with an Okie or a Lur?

Fixed!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:17 PM
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we're once again responsible for providing your daily ration of grief

Believe me, NPH, I have proved more than capable recently of creating enough grief for myself without assistance.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:18 PM
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It's just a precaution, Knecht. We would want you to be left wanting.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:19 PM
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163: See, since neither Ogged nor I is a sweet brilliant young woman (who has seriously had to struggle with ongoing racist oppression), that question is much less bothersome.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:21 PM
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Which is why I said "fixed".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:23 PM
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A couple of decades have gone by since I was a freshman in college, so I think this safely qualifies as bygones.

I shouldn't be giving legal advice on the internet, so instead I'll tell a little story. Some years ago, there was this guy, who was a public figure, and this woman came forward and told reporters, and anyone that would listen, that he'd raped her 20 odd years earlier. It was way past the statute of limitations. He nonetheless stayed silent. Why? Perhaps because a denial could be used as the basis for a defamation suit, because a contemporary statement would be a whole new violation.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:48 PM
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161: That's sort of the way it read to me too. The comments, as usual, are mostly about other things.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:55 PM
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I liked Atanarjuat.

I have an Inupiat friend who stops around every couple years. He's promised to bring me a jar of cold-pressed whale oil next time he's in the area. Great dip, apparently. (He's over 60 and hunts whales from a sealskin kayak. Out in the Arctic swell. With a handmade harpoon.)


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 1:58 PM
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I've done enough kayaking to appreciate how utterly insane the last bit of 170 is.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:01 PM
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169: Really? I think a lot of the comments are even worse than the post. If this conversation were happening in physical space, I'd leave the party and permanently write off anyone I didn't already know *very* well.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:02 PM
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172: hmmm. I guess I should really have actually read more than about 20% of them before making that statement.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:03 PM
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I agree with 172.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:06 PM
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Me, I just recited half-remembered facts. I expressed no preference either way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:07 PM
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I mostly agree with B.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:08 PM
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172 seems sufficiently bizarre to me that I first thought bitch must have been talking about that thread at apo's. If I were a brilliant Inuit and I came across this post, I'd solve any problems I had with it by not giving a fuck.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:19 PM
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172: Truly? Perhaps it's a function of being entirely oblivious to anti-Inuit discrimination and having not given any thought to the issues of discrimination you raise, but I wasn't reading the initial post as being a whole lot different than stuff like "Who's got the sexier accent -- Scots or Germans?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:19 PM
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177: Yeah, but you're not. And as the comments demonstrate, very few people here actually even *know* any Eskimos (or Inuits, etc.).

178: Truly, yes. Scots and Germans are pretty much able to be ethnic or not, as they wish. This student of mine had gone to a reservation school (as most of my Indian students had), and who was now a long way from home and going through fairly severe culture shock, and who was, as I said, incredibly brilliant (the best student in class, actually) but was having to deal with the (entirely justified) belief that most of her fellow students thought she didn't belong there (after all, affirmative action!). Discrimination against American Indians of all types is very much alive and well, and the kind of stereotypes that got trotted out in the thread aren't dead enough to be funny yet.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:24 PM
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Geez, you really are being humorless, B. Where would you have preferred the "PLEASE NOTE THE REFERENCES TO TRADITIONAL INUIT CULTURE AS DESCRIBED IN ALL OF TWO MOVIES AND ONE WEB SITE ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT MEANT TO EXPRESS ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT REAL LIVE PEOPLE OF THAT HERITAGE WHO ARE LIVING TODAY, NOR TO JUDGE THEM." to be appended?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:28 PM
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Discrimination against American Indians of all types is very much alive and well, and the kind of stereotypes that got trotted out in the thread aren't dead enough to be funny yet.

Yeah, I agree with this. In Canada, institutionalized racism and discrimination against the Inuit are very much alive and well.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:29 PM
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Pissed at my mention of unwashed hicks, maybe. Not sure what to say, there-- it's true that I wouldn't mention stereotypes about people I know in the same tone so as not to give offense, unless they were good friends and I knew that we could share a laugh. No harm meant.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:32 PM
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180: No, but I'd prefer that people realize that there's a difference between reasonably well-informed people joking about stereotypes that they know exist but don't really believe in, partly because they actually know real people of X background, and joking about stereotypes that are very much alive and represent most of what they "know" about X group.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:54 PM
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Also, sorry, but I'm less concerned about being humorless than I am about that gross feeling of hanging around things that make me uncomfortable.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:55 PM
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I mostly missed this thread, but another vote for finding it kind of icky. I figure everything was meant harmlessly under the implicit, not-thought-out, theory that no one either Inuit or with any practical opportunity to express racism toward someone Inuit was ever likely to read it, but of course that's not right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 2:59 PM
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B, or those who agree with her, are there particular parts of this thread which you think an Inuit person might take as sincerely making any claim at all about them? Or it just the general feel of the thread?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:11 PM
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You know, looking back on the thread, the only comment I can find that plausibly embodies an offensive stereotype is mine, which -- since I made a point of mentioning that I was basing my knowledge on one scene in one movie -- seems pretty clearly designed to be read from the perspective of my being ignorant, my other comment about sex outside the Igloo, which is something I learned about the Inuit in a college anthropology class which, sure, could be wrong, and foolishmortal's, which was wordplay based on a surely offensive Marine cadence, but which was, y'know, just wordplay. Other than that I'm not really seeing harmful stereotypes. Were there other things you were responding to? Maybe you could get your student on here to explain, B? But then she'd be offended, according to you. Or maybe she wouldn't. Who knows!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:14 PM
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171 -- Not insane, committed. There's a pretty short list of people I can say I'm genuinely honored to know. This guy is on it.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:15 PM
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187 probably should have a "MAY BE EXCESSIVELY GRUMPY" tag appended on it prominently someplace.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:16 PM
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Meh, the thread's pretty benign, apart from the fact that people who shout "Atanarajuaaaat!" randomly are about a thousand times more annoying than guys who still think it's funny to do the Borat voice. The Unfoggedtariat still have more to fear from Asian drivers than the Inuit, IMO.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:18 PM
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What makes me feel uncomfortable is the apparent assumption that nobody here belongs to either group. That is, it's "us" talking about (judging) "them".

That, plus the semi-seriousness with which people seem to take the question (16, 17, 20).

Until I spent time in a place where there was significant anti-Native racism, I didn't realize the extent to which it was an overwhelming, daily problem and reality. People who live in the Southwest, certain parts of the Pacific Northwest and the Plains, or Alaska, can probably speak more to this.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:20 PM
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186: Meh, I don't want to point fingers. Tweety's already pissy and defensive enough.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:21 PM
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The one native Alaskan I've ever known was quite ill at ease and vulnerable even in a place without specific prejudice against her people. I love to rag on Canadians and Scots and Danes and Lur and so on, but native Canadians, native Americans, and native Alaskans still are pretty stigmatized in places where there a lot of them.

I don't think that there's been enormous harm done or guilt acquired, but there was sort of an icky feeling.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:22 PM
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191: Anyone who lives in any part of Canada can speak to it, too, it being the main flavour of socially-acceptable racism (just ahead of hating on South Asians / Middle Easterners). Most of the common ingredients of that kind of casual racism are absent here, or I'd feel different. (And 20 is an obvious joke, come on.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:24 PM
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I went to college with a bunch of privileged (East) Indian people who tended to make a lot of "Dots not feathers"-type jokes that I think were both annoying and dangerous. Among pretty socially privileged people of color, there can be a lot of petty racism that tries to equate the racism against all "brown" people as if it's all just water under the bridge, we've all come so far since the Bad Old Days, etc., which makes it "reasonable" to laugh at and use broad racist stereotypes as the basis of jokes, when some of the people brought under that umbrella are really not in a historical moment when those jokes are funny.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:25 PM
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193 gets it exactly right.

Most of the common ingredients of that kind of casual racism are absent here

Except frank ignorance.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:26 PM
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191: Yeah, I have a friend whose parents grew up on Pine Ridge Reservation, and from what he's said and what I've read, no black ghetto is as bad as that. It's a real hellhole.

Once native Americans assimilate the prejudice against them is relatively less than anti-black prejudice, I think, but near reservations it's pretty brutal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:26 PM
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195, cont'd: which is, for example, why I think we don't see anyone coming on here talking about the racist jokes made in this thread at the expense of (East) Indians.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:26 PM
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192: well but wait a minute. I'm not sure that making blanket claims about a thread trafficking in hurtful stereotypes (such that you would write people off if you heard it in person) without giving specific examples is actually the better way to avoid that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:27 PM
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192: Fair point.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:27 PM
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DS, you say that 20 is an obvious joke. Obvious to regular readers who know fm, maybe. But similar statements are made all the time in other places and they're not meant as jokes.

It's one of the weirdnesses of the Internet that these intimate conversations and communities occur in public space. We have a bit of a high bar to entry in terms of folks lurking for a while before they feel comfortable posting here, which is mostly good. But we commenters aren't the only ones watching.

Eh, I don't know. Not my intention to be overly grouchy, literal, or humorless.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:29 PM
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that these intimate conversations and communities occur in public space. We have a bit of a high bar to entry in terms of folks lurking for a while before they feel comfortable posting here, which is mostly good. But we commenters aren't the only ones watching.

And even if we were, I (and a number of other people) were kind of uncomfortable about the conversation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:30 PM
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201 - "who know fm" s/b "who have seen Full Metal Jacket".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:32 PM
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20 was not obvious to me. Is it a reference to something? Or do you mean obvious joke in that we're all supposed to take the reference to racism ironically?

(Not to unduly harsh on fm -- I breezed right by it without getting my hackles up, and am implicated accordingly.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:32 PM
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Ah, right then. (audio, NSFW)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:36 PM
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204: 20, together with 27, is playing on a military cadence: "I don't know but I've been told" [everyone else repeats "I don't know but I've been told"] "Something that scans and rhymes with 'told'" [Everyone else repeats "Something that scans and rhymes with 'told']. Think of an Army movie and you'll remember the tune.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:37 PM
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Ah. I had no idea what 20 was referring to. I know the chant style, of course, but never saw the movie and didn't get the reference.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:39 PM
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I thought 20 was obvious enough that I responded with the "How cold"-line with "uncomfortable to fuck" inserted for "cold."


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:41 PM
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Anyway. Look, I'll say jokingly offensive things to Ogged about being Iranian, because I know he makes those jokes himself, and that we're friendly enough that he knows I don't actually think he's a terrorist. And I'll make jokes about Iranians even when Iranians aren't around, among like-minded non-Iranian friends, because I feel pretty certain that my general affect and awareness of how those stereotypes work provides a context in which they can be properly understood as black humor. I wouldn't make jokes like that with someone who didn't give me the sense that they'd "get" them, or if I felt like I didn't know what I was talking about well enough to manage the nuance between "joke" and "actually, not funny", or if I had a particular and uncomfortable sense of the joke being extremely offensive in particular circumstances.

For instance, we'll joke here about ethnic stereotypes; but we won't actually employ ethnic slurs, which cross the line from joke to, well, slur. We can safely assume that we all know that, because we all seem to be able to follow that rule--and the once in a blue moon that Apo will say "nigger, please" is a rare exception that's funny because it is extremely rare, because Apo's good at outrageous comic timing, and because we all know that Apo is extremely not-racist. I'm not as good at outrageous humor as he is, so I wouldn't do that--if the timing's a little off, the joke bombs.

All I'm saying is that the Inuit jokes in the post and thread mostly bombed. Since Tweety wans me to point fingers, I'll also say that I think getting defensive when someone says "ick, that racist joke kind of bombed" is pretty crappy--no one was getting all leftier-than-thou about it, just saying that it was not comfortable.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:41 PM
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Holy crap, I just played that link with PK sitting right here.

Okay, I'm going to go clean the house now. And my mind. And PK's.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:43 PM
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195: It's a not-uncommon phenomenon among people from immigrant and minority communities to try to be more-X-than-the-X, right down to trying to emulate or play within the ethnic foibles of the dominant culture (in a way that's different from, but can sometimes superficially resemble, sarcastically taking the piss out of the stereotypes themselves). That, too, is a familiar dynamic; don't see much here that reminds me of it.

196: Well, if mere ignorance were enough to offend, I would never read the Internet, Unfogged included. Incuriosity would be a bigger problem.

But whatever. Not making a Thing out of it. I can sort of see what B is saying, and it's nice to see people think/worry about this sort of thing. Carry on.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:44 PM
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204: Or do you mean obvious joke in that we're all supposed to take the reference to racism ironically?

That's cold, brother. Colder than...

...

...not gonna say it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:47 PM
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210: "Audio, NSFW". I'm gonna have to reinstate my call for blinking-text tags.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:48 PM
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The problem was that B isn't at work, Wrongshore. You should have labeled it "NSFPK".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:50 PM
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210: Maybe this is the behavioral spur you've been lacking, B!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:52 PM
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Not to belabor a small thing, but it seems to me that it's an obvious joke is no defense to racist statements. Surely everyone has gotten the word by now that racially offensive jokes are out of line, even if they're funny.

We've had this conversation before, of course. And there's no point in repeating that.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:53 PM
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Hey, guys, think how painful it was for me to agree with B. Let's let her be right this one time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:54 PM
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204: I'm not bothered; I'm more concerned about not bothering B than revealing my vast and trackless ignorance. And I could see how people might be anti-Inuit in places like AK and such. It's just so remote from my personal experience it doesn't show up on my radar:I don't even know what an anti-Inuit sentiment would be.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 3:57 PM
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216: it seems to me that it's an obvious joke is no defense to racist statements.

Whether it qualifies as a "racist statement" of course depends on what the underlying joke is and at whose expense it's being made.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:00 PM
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218 - One of the oddest things about working in agricultural central California (remember that this is on top of the oddness of being a hippie chick engineer from big coastal cities) was that the overt racism was directed at descendents of Portuguese immigrants. The Portuguese? Why on earth? Why the Portuguese? I never did figure that one out.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:07 PM
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The Portuguese immigrant experience in America is under-documented. You've got Mystic Pizza, and then what?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:10 PM
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Whether it qualifies as a "racist statement" of course depends on what the underlying joke is and at whose expense it's being made.

Which point Emerson addresses in 193. There's a difference between someone (probably Emerson) calling me a hoser, and someone making an off-colour joke about Native Canadians.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:10 PM
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It's just so remote from my personal experience it doesn't show up on my radar

Yes, this issue is tricky. On the one hand, I can identify: I had the experience of being quizzed on Polish stereotypes and feeling totally at sea because I really, truly had never heard any and didn't know any. I didn't grow up around self-identified Polish people, didn't observe/retain any pop cultural characters or references, etc.

On the other hand, when a politician makes a remark like VA Sen. Allen did, I want to retort: "Ignorance is no excuse!"


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:14 PM
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Oh wait, I did read something about Portugeuse immigrants in Northern California. It was in a not-very-successful mystery novel with Ambrose Bierce as detective and a reporter at one of the Hearst papers as the Plucky Young Heroine. There was a clannish Portugeuse immigrant enclave in, I think, Sausalito? Where the beautiful young woman died mysteriously?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:14 PM
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And my brother-in-law's sister-in-law is third-generation Portugeuse-American; her family has made cheese à la portugeuse since they arrived.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:16 PM
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222: Point being that the specific joke in question isn't actually at the expense of Inuit, it's at the expense of a Marines cadence. So I can't justify shaking the dust off my E-Z Home Torch & Pitchfork Kit on fm's account. YMMV.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:17 PM
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223: But Allen didn't have the excuse of ignorance -- his background lent itself to well-informed, racist use of "macaque"-cum-"macaca" for a p.o.c.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:17 PM
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188: ok, replace `insane' with `freaking dangerous'. I've got a pretty good idea what an annoyed whale could do to a kayak is all. I've been close to friendly ones in a kayak (within feet) and it gives you a real sense of scale.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:17 PM
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220: My sociopath brother-in-law was Hawaiian Portuguese, so I understand perfectly.

Seriously, the Portuguese are latecomers and mostly were sailors and fishermen, I think, and didn't rise very far. In Hawaii they seem to be down with the Filipinos and Native Hawaiians.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:18 PM
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223.2: Should someone in this kind of context see fit to start "joking" about "squaws," OTOH, the E-Z Home Torch & Pitchfork Kit is definitely coming out.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:19 PM
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220: Lots of Portuguese immigrants in that part of the country (have you never noticed the number of 1950s era Portuguese restaurants?). I don't know the history, but I assume that it's like anti-Italian sentiment in places where there were a lot of Italian immigrants--the Portuguese are swarthy, clannish people with weird food and blah blah etc.

The only reason I know this is because growing up my family's best friend family's mom was of Portuguese descent, and they used to joke about it. That and being taken to 1950s era Portuguese restaurants by the older Bitch generation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:19 PM
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Yeah, Allen actually had his own special boutique slur to use.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:20 PM
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Yeah, I agree with this. In Canada, institutionalized racism and discrimination against the Inuit are very much alive and well.

You should replace `Inuit' with `all native people' here, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:20 PM
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The Portuguese were one in a long succession of ethnics brought in to scab on the preceding racialized working class in Hawaii as soon as they got organized. They scabbed on the Japanese who scabbed on the Chinese who scabbed on the native Hawaiians. Finally when they recruited in the Philippines, the ILWU got organizers on the recruit ships, and the Filipinos joined the multi-ethnic picket lines straight off the boats.

Or so I was told during my brief and happy Hawaiian labor organizing days.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:21 PM
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221: really good coffee?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:21 PM
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However, Hawaii is unbelievably different from the rest of the U.S., especially the back country. One difference is the racial mix. It isn't Utopia, but it's a completely different system of affiliations and prejudices.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:21 PM
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By which I mean "the back country, non-tourist areas of Hawaii".

It's a pretty rough place at times.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:22 PM
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230: For me the "would you fuck an Eskimo?" thing sounded uncomfortably close to a squaw joke, or one of those "would you let your daughter marry one" things. Especially when it was followed by a bunch of comments about icky Inuit food, igloos, harpoons, fish, and "oh yeah, I saw that movie too."

Okay, shutting up now. The kitchen is clean and PK wants to help me tackle the bathroom. Who am I to pass up such an offer?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:23 PM
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I don't think that girls can be hosers, but make no mistake. IA is one of them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:23 PM
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We've got loads of Portuguese around here, but we've moved on to hating Latin Americans. MA is truly a progressive state.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:24 PM
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Well, the thing is -- to us, Allen should have known. But his slur played out on a national stage where there wasn't a completely shared understanding that it was offensive and that He Should Have Known Better.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:25 PM
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233: indeed. See recent coverage / discussion about the Musqueam land settlement here in Vancouver. Conversations about native land claims in BC seem to have the same tenor as discussions about slavery restitution in the US.


Posted by: icathing | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:28 PM
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241: Jim Webb won that election not only by denouncing the slur, but by capitalizing on it with an Inuit-Indian orgy held live on CSPAN.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:29 PM
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Well, shoot, how'd I miss that?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:31 PM
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Okay, 243 is hilarious.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:39 PM
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Lurker from Hawaii here. I just wanted to say how interesting I found that Wrongshore! Frank De Lima, a popular local comic from a few years back, use to crack jokes about Portuguese stereotypes, which seemed to boil down to Portuguese = kind of dumb. He was riffing on a prejudice that must exist, perhaps was stronger before?, but I don't think I've witnessed any of it myself (compared to the very blatant, racist things I've heard about Samoans).

As a side note, weirdly enough I don't really consider local Portuguese to be white. It's like a mental blind spot. They're not haole, and therefore not white...

Thanks for the entertaining workday reading, Unfogged!


Posted by: slippers | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 4:52 PM
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246: When my brother visited Hawaii (when my bro-in-law was still part of the family) he also said that Portuguese aren't white over there. But few Hawaiians are, and it's not necessarily an advantage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:01 PM
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The white people I've known in Hawaii have been comfortable referring to themselves as "haole", but I only recently found out that it translates to something like "without the breath of life". The "ha" in "Hawaii" has the same root, the word means "the people with the breath of life". (This is disputed.)

I couldn't find a cite online for my organizing story, but I checked with someone I worked with there who backs it up. Apparently the ILWU even had a marching band waiting for the organized Filipino workers at the docks. Surprise!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:07 PM
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slippers, you're welcome. Any take on the "haole" phenom?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:08 PM
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I was a tourist in Hawaii in the mid-eighties, and got into the back country. Interesting place.

The ukulele, which is thought to be a development of the cavaquinho, was brought to the island by Portuguese immigrants in the 1870s.

My bf/irl is a uke enthusiast, and plays it with my next- door neighbor, a retired pathologist who is a native Hawaiian of Japanese descent.

Aside from Providence and Massachusetts, there are a lot of Portuguese immigrants to Canada. When I was a boy, a bridge under construction collapsed in Ottawa, and it turned out all the workers were very recent from Portugal. Nellie Furtada is a Portugese-Canadian


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:10 PM
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Furtado


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:11 PM
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According to my ex-bro-in-law the correct term is "Portagee", as in Melville.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:25 PM
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I'm a portuguese Canadian, and I've been harassed all my life because of my likeness to Furtado. (well, since she made it big.) Sigh.

Anywho. If I may sidetrack this thread, to talk about harassment of a different sort, I'd like to let anyone who's interested know that the follow up of who's watching the watchdogs" is up.

We made it to the preliminary hearing today only to find out that the cops didn't even file the charges at all. They fucked us around. There isn't even a file with my friends' names on it. No "assault against a police officer" charge was ever recorded, even though my friends were given summons that night that say other wise.

Ultimate fuckery. So much for inalienable rights, eh?


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:27 PM
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Umm. Sorry about the attempted thread jacking.
So back to them inuits and Eskimos. How about a internationial proportinally-representative orgy? That would rock. Then this question would no loger be hypothetical.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:36 PM
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I assume that the "Portuguese aren't white" thing has something to do with every immigrant group having been considered (initially) not white. I vaguely remember hearing something about how Italians and Chinese, for instance, had to actually lobby to be legally considered "white," which was done because obviously being not-white was so legally disadvantageous.

Presumably this wasn't the case in Hawaii, so the Portuguese didn't bother?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:43 PM
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In Ghana, the Portuguese are considered (and consider themselves) part of the black population. They don't at all align themselves with the English whites. Just goes to show that skin colour identification has ever so much more to do with power than with qualifiable difference.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:47 PM
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Geez, that link in 204 is brutal. I can see a couple of the author's points, but a lot of it is just plain uncharitable and disapproving of "kids these days". Never invite him to any fun party where hip-hop might be spun.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:48 PM
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Really, the Chinese? That's suprising.

This 1908 court decision holding that Finns are legally white and not "Mongolian" is extra interesting to me a) because it's online for us to boggle at and b) given the Finns' prominent place in the history of American labor radicalism. If only their socialistic tendencies were explained by a Mongolian in the woodpile! You can almost hear the timber barons muttering.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:52 PM
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I'm guessing about Hawaii, here, from things I've heard, but I think that's not exactly it. More like, while on the mainland 'white' is a privileged status meaning something like 'person whose ethnicity is unexceptionable', and so new immigrant populations had to work to be considered white, in Hawaii 'haole', while it translates better as 'white' than as anything else, is one ethnicity among others rather than being particularly privileged. Portugese being not 'white' in Hawaii, would, I'm guessing, mostly mean that their ancestors came to Hawaii directly from Portugal rather than by way of having been assimilated in mainland America first.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:53 PM
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I don't think that the Portagee would have been helped by becoming low-ranking haoles. Hawaii is only 41% white, and while the old money is white, establishment people do business on establishment terms with a Japanese-Hawaiian establishment, the Japanese-Japanese establishment, and so on. A lot of people are mixed, and recent arrivals from the mainland have trouble being accepted.

My bet is that fluency in Hawaiian creole English is as much a marker as anything racial.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 5:54 PM
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There is also diversity to be considered. Portuguese people's skin colour varies widely between ivory white to darkish caramel brown - not to mention Portuguese Africans and Protuguese Brazilians. The thing is that while the portuguese Empire was at the hight of its colonialist "glory", it chose to integrate cultures rather than to conquer them through either warfare or marginalization.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:03 PM
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OT, and almost as disturbing as the contents of a crocodile's stomach. As my husband put it, "I already feel nostalgic for the time before I saw that."


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:13 PM
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255: Except for the queen's subjects proper and "les filles du roi". Why is it so easy to forget that colonists are immigrants?


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:21 PM
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except for the arm hair i think indians are my favorite. so really no contest. i don't think i've ever met an eskimo.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:24 PM
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I think the thing with the Portugese in Hawaii back in the day was that they were field bosses, resented by the non-Caucasian immigrant groups doing the physical labor and looked down on by the haoles who ran things.

recent arrivals from the mainland have trouble being accepted

Not really, but it's pretty easy to just fail to connect, and a fair number of people have a hard time adjusting to a place where they're not of the dominant culture.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:30 PM
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262: I'm going to seem like I'm always picking fights with IA (nothing personaly, IA; I just hate Canadians), but that's actually about the nicest thing I've ever heard about Hitchens.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:30 PM
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Why is it so easy to forget that colonists are immigrants?

It's that "two nations" thing, where the original French and English immigrants are seen as pioneers and settlers. It's the people who came later who are immigrants. And the people who were already there are sometimes seen as just part the natural landscape, I think.

Also, the British North America thing, where people from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland were not classed as immigrants in formal, legal terms (though they might be called emigrants in an informal sense). They were subjects of the Crown who were moving from one part of the empire to another.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:31 PM
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If you're from the actual home countries, though, isn't it something you never let the colonials live down?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:34 PM
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I mean, like how all those Quebecois accents aren't "real" French.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:35 PM
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nothing personaly, IA; I just hate Canadians

Fair enough. And a common enough response, God knows.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:36 PM
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I mean, like how all those Quebecois accents aren't "real" French.

Oh yes. Totally ridiculous. Nobody spoke "real" French until after the Revolution, except maybe a few bureaucrats in Paris. Prior to that, there were various regional dialects that had yet to be normalized and standardized.

Linguists have identified some Québécois words and phrases which date back to 17th-century France, but which have long since died out in the motherland.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 6:48 PM
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I like ladies, but I won't be in Chicago until December. Sad.

My friend will still be there. Maybe she will tire of men or other devices by then.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:02 PM
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233, 242: It's true that native land claims (and casinos, for that matter) bring out the worst in some of their neighbors. It's also true that in a lot of cases they're genuinely complicated stuff. My own thoughts are muddled, but "yay native land claims!" is sort of like "yay affirmative action!"--it's much more likely to put you on the right side than a "boo!" would, but the question "and then what?" is difficult and increasingly important.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:24 PM
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242: BC is complicated, because the government doesn't even have the convenient legal fiction of a treaty (however bad faith) to fall back on.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:37 PM
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273: It's complicated stuff. It seem usually to be complicated situations made vastly more complicated by decades of gross mismanagement.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:38 PM
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268: Quite. I try never to let you lot live it down, at least.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:40 PM
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Hawaiian creole English

I had thought "Da Kine" another name for it, but I've learned that that's more like a characteristic aspect of it, and the quoted phrase, or perhaps Hawai'i creole English.

Because of homesickness or uprootedness, my parents brought me up aware of the complexity of their Nova Scotia home, far away from Ontario and Ohio. There were Blacks and Whites, the former in Amherst and Pictou actually underground-railroad descendants, two kinds of French Canadians, the Quebecois and the Acadians, and the Indians, the Micmacs. They were lowest, and most miserable. When my dad worked cleaning cages on fox ranches he met some. In the twenties, two young men from the reservation won the Boston Marathon a couple of years, when the hometown star, Clarence Damar was beatable in cold, damp weather. On a hot day no one could beat him.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:43 PM
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275: Gross mismanagement and gross injustices of all sorts, but also that you can't go back to the status quo ante and no one would want to even if you could.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:44 PM
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278: true, but most of the recent negotiations of this sort I'm aware of have been done in bad faith, also, which really doesn't help.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:51 PM
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I know very little about what's going on in Canada, but what sorts of things are you thinking of? There's a phenomenon of making vague, sympathetic noises toward people who are making unrealistic demands that I don't think is admirable but I'm not sure I'd call bad faith.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 7:57 PM
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There no question that the eggs can't be unscrambled. There are also the difficulties with small polities you'd expect to see.

We'll never know what might have been had CJ Marshall's view in Worcester v. Georgia prevailed through the 19th century. I'm reminded of the complaint filed in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, which has a great description of the white claim to legal supremacy:

The bill set forth the complainants to be 'the Cherokee nation of Indians, a foreign state, not owing allegiance to the United States, nor to any state of this union, nor to any prince, potentate or state, other than their own.'

'That from time immemorial the Cherokee nation have composed a sovereign and independent state, and in this character have been repeatedly recognized, and still stand recognized by the United States, in the various treaties subsisting between their nation and the United States.' That the Cherokees were the occupants and owners of the territory in which they now reside, before the first approach of the white men of Europe to the western continent; 'deriving their title from the Great Spirit, who is the common father of the human family, and to whom the whole earth belongs.' Composing the Cherokee nation, they and their ancestors have been and are the sole and exclusive masters of this territory, governed by their own laws, usages, and customs.
The bill states the grant, by a charter in 1732, of the country on this continent lying between the Savannah and Alatahama rivers, by George the Second, 'monarch of several islands on the eastern coast of the Atlantic,' the same country being then in the ownership of several distinct, sovereign, and independent nations of Indians, and amongst them the Cherokee nation.
The foundation of this charter, the bill states is asserted to be the right of discovery to the territory granted; a ship manned by the subjects of the king having, 'about two centuries and a half before, sailed along the coast of the western hemisphere, from the fifty-sixth to the thirty- eighth degree of north latitude, and looked upon the face of that coast without even landing on any part of it.' This right, as affecting the right of the Indian nation, the bill denies; and asserts that the whole length to which the right of discovery is claimed to extend among European nations is to give to the first discoverer the prior and exclusive right to purchase these lands from the Indian proprietors, against all other European sovereigns: to which principle the Indians have never assented; and which they deny to be a principle of the natural law of nations, or obligatory on them.
The bill alleges, that it never was claimed under the charter of George the Second, that the grantees had a right to disturb the self government of the Indians who were in possession of the country; and that, on the contrary, treaties were made by the first adventurers with the Indians, by which a part of the territory was acquired by them for a valuable consideration; and no pretension was ever made to set up the British laws in the country owned by the Indians. That various treaties have been, from time to time, made between the British colony in Georgia; between the state of Georgia, before her confederation with the other states; between the confederate states afterwards; and, finally, between the United States under their present constitution, and the Cherokee nation, as well as other nations of Indians: in all of which the Cherokee nation, and the other nations have been recognized as sovereign and independent states; possessing both the exclusive right to their territory, and the exclusive right of self government within that territory. That the various proceedings from time to time had by the congress of the United States under the articles of their confederation, as well as under the present constitution of the United States, in relation to the subject of the Indian nations; confirm the same view of the subject.

Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:07 PM
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The only squaw joke I'm familiar with is an abysmal pythagorean pun. Should I try to remain unenlightened in this, so as to keep one tiny, innocent, unsullied corner in my brain?


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:13 PM
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Then, as now, defending God-fearing white folks against the brown hordes was winning politics. Even when the God-fearing white folks were busy grabbing all they could of the brown people's lands and chattels and killing anyone who fought back and many who didn't.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:15 PM
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283 to 281. And I to dinner.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:16 PM
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280: Without getting too involved --- primarily what I'm thinking about in Canadian cases I'm familiar with is negotiating to minimize cost (financial, political, both) rather than maximize benefit. These are citizens, even ignoring the fact they are citizens you've already screwed over and probably owe some redress for that, and as a government negotiating claims you are ethically required to try and find a solution best for them as well as everyone else. Often the model is adversarial, trying to minimize the cost to everyone else, and this way has been pushed into fruitless and sometimes actively harmful negotiation. For example, shoring up the band governance structures built under terribly broken indian act because it is easier to deal with from the outside, supporting actively harmful legislation on status because it undermines the bands negotiations, etc. etc.

Also, sometimes the demands are difficult or expensive, but actually perfectly reasonable. I'm sure there is some of what you describe too, but in nothing like the percentage of cases I've often heard people decry.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:23 PM
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Should I try to remain unenlightened in this

I'd say so.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:23 PM
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It's true that native land claims (and casinos, for that matter) bring out the worst in some of their neighbors. It's also true that in a lot of cases they're genuinely complicated stuff.

The casinos especially, I'd say. I mean, I think and hope I understand some of the backstory (the ongoing legacy of racism and colonialism and so on), but when it comes to organized gambling...man, but that shit can get ugly. Not to mention complicated.

In terms of land claims, distance (both spatial and temporal) is highly significant, I can't help but think. The farther away from the actual and practical outcome of the dispute (who has access to this body of water, and etc.), the more likely is the jurisdictional authority in question to rule in favour of the First Nations. In terms of various and sundry treaties with the Crown, is what I mean. Thus the federal gov't is more sympathetic to First Nations claims than the provincial, and etc. Sometimes Canadian First Nations representatives will even take their case all the way to the Privy Council in Britain, and it's no damn wonder. If you're duking it out over logging rights to a piece of land, who would you rather trust: the local member of the Kiwanis Club who hopes to get re-elected, or the English law lord who no longer has a dog in that fight? I'll take the English law lord for 300, thanks, Alex. The English law lord (that baddie of colonial history) is much more likely to read and interpret the 18th- or 19th-century document in a manner that favours the claims of the First Nations (taking seriously the legal status of those treaties with the Crown and so on).

Irrelevant factoid, and source of much mockery in my childhood home: my mother once had a date with Alex Trebek. He lived with his mother at the time, and was apparently seriously contemplating the priesthood, and my mum thought he was a bit of a drip.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:26 PM
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283 -- Oh yeah. But, you know, the other current has always been present too. Smith Thompson's dissent in Cherokee Nation (joined by Story) is pretty good, and even though former AG Wirt lost that case, he was ready to come right back with Worcester, which he won. Certainly one of the better respected men of his time and place.

On Worcester, though, as Mr. McManus reminds us, procedural liberalism is no substitute for progressive action. [IMO, they have to go together, as I'm unaware of sucessful experiments in the latter without the former, but that's just my bias.]


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:33 PM
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Trebek He was the local weatherman in Ottawa, I think. I don't remember him, but that's what my dad said. Peter Jennings' Dad was the local anchorman.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:35 PM
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The Inuits have casinos, too. But they're not popular, because everyone gets cold cards.

/I'm here all week
//try the veal


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 8:50 PM
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But it is still possible in Canada, despite the local feeling and industry, for this from tomorrow's NYT:

The Canadian government plans to announce today that it will convert 25.5 million acres of northern woodland into a new national park and wildlife protection areas.

The result will be one of North America's largest conservation areas, about 11.5 times the size of Yellowstone Park, and ease pressure from the mining and energy industries on an area that is important for wildlife, if sparsely populated by humans.

"This is the largest land withdrawal for protection ever in Canada," said Monte Hummel, president of the World Wildlife Fund Canada. "This is real conservation history being made."

Cabinet orders putting the plan into effect was published to little notice last week. A public announcement of the plan is expected shortly in Ottawa.

The lands are within the boreal forest, a band of trees about 1,600 miles wide that sweeps across much of Canada and continues in northern Scotland, Scandinavia and Russia. About 77 percent of Canada's forest is in the boreal band and its trees, mostly evergreens, are believed to play an important role in offsetting the rise in gases related to global warming created by burning fossil fuels. Large numbers of migratory birds and waterfowl make their summer home with the forest.

Under the plan, 8.5 million acres surrounding the Eastern Arm of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories will become a national park. Another 15.3 million acres between the new park and an existing wildlife refuge will be designated as conservation land under the management of native groups Further to the northwest, near the Mackenzie River valley, 3.7 million acres will turned into a national wildlife area.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:09 PM
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//try the vseal


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:09 PM
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289: Ottawa, sure. The absolute centre of the absolute margins (and God, B, how can you hate us, when we never have been, and never will be, anything more than understudies to the stars who strut and fret their hour upon the world-historical stage?). On Jennings, and not to speak ill of the dead or anything, but my dad has this story about attending this party (mid-to-late 50s, and maybe at the Chaudière, portrait of the Rocket on the wall, and all the beer is on the Crown, mes habitants), when all of a sudden (or so it seemed) Peter appeared on the scene in a smoking jacket, and seemed to think he was all that. Christ, that arsehole...But my dad, God love him, has some chips on his shoulder, so not necessarily a reliable narrator. He seems to know a fair bit about the Jennings family, though.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:11 PM
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That's all well and good, IDP, but Canada's naked aggression against Hans Island will neither be forgotten nor forgiven. Stern measure have already been taken, and further stiff letters should be expected in the future. Canada presumes on its great-power status a little too much.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:16 PM
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And you too, IA.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:17 PM
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291.---Hey, cool. My parents were just up there; the photos were incredible.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:17 PM
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So, did you know Tommy Chong?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:19 PM
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Interesting thread. I don't have a whole lot to add, although there are things I could say about several of the topics that have come up. I am posting this from an Indian reservation, however, so you can just assume that the comments I didn't make would have been totally credible.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:33 PM
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Happy Thanksgiving, Teo.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:36 PM
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And I don't mean anything untoward by that.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:36 PM
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Ya'at'eeh keshmish yazhi, TJ.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:45 PM
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These are citizens, even ignoring the fact they are citizens you've already screwed over and probably owe some redress for that, and as a government negotiating claims you are ethically required to try and find a solution best for them as well as everyone else. Often the model is adversarial, trying to minimize the cost to everyone else, and this way has been pushed into fruitless and sometimes actively harmful negotiation.

Part of what makes it hard is the whole citizenship thing. Tribal sovereignty is something that I tend to think works best when the native people are off somewhere that the white folks don't care about and don't have anything anyone else wants. You can stumble along OK when the reservation is just a particularly troubled section of a part of the country where nobody's doing well enough to attract outside interest, but if you ever manage to improve that I think it becomes harder for most tribes to be viable as political entities. I tend to think that a world in which everyone's more or less assimilated to a common culture and traditions are preserved as a hobbyist/festival thing is better than the plausible alternatives, but that's an easy thing for a white guy to say.

I also think it's important to focus on fixing current wrongs, including the current effects of historical wrongs, and not think that we can fix what was done in the past. I don't believe that anyone can properly claim redress for wrongs done to their ancestors, and there's more than enough injustice in current generations to keep us busy.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 9:55 PM
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Also, cabernet and peanut butter don't go together particularly well.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:00 PM
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301: Tov.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:00 PM
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And you too, IA.

Why must you mock my people?

(But if we look guilty, we almost certainly are).

Someday you must go up to my home and native land and follow the Opeongo Line. You don't from Upper Canada unless and until you've been "up the line."

And don't worry: I'll prep you on the all-important religious and linguistic crap. For example, sometimes you're supposed to say "vous" and sometimes you're supposed to say "tu," and if you get those pronouns mixed up, you can look either boorish or snooty. Also, if you refer to the town of Shawville, Québec as "Boyneville" (preferably out of the side of your mouth, and with a slight, but unmistakable, gesture of contempt), that's saying one thing, and if you show up in the town of Perth, Ontario on the 12 July waving a flag for King Billy, that's saying another thing, and it's really important that you know the difference. Canadians are peaceful enough on the world stage, but are known to engage in tavern brawls at the local level.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:45 PM
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my mother once had a date with Alex Trebek.
He seems to know a fair bit about the Jennings family, though.

Yes, yes, 'small country, everyone knows each other' -- we get it. Now, how about letting some of us move up there? I'm not picky. Everybody's always "Ooo, Montreal, ooo, Vancouver" -- shit, I'll be happy to live in Edmonton or Winnipeg or Calgary or whatever other benighted place you can think up, Sudbury maybe? Doesn't matter, just get me out of this horrible place.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 10:54 PM
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no, no, To be exiled to Calgary is a fate worse than death. Do not bring this upon yourself. Seriously.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:10 PM
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IA, I had no idea you were an expatriot. What about getting looked at funny when you say "J'amerai un verre d'eau, svp" Or "Pourra-je avoir ... svp" To whoever your server may be: grisled and surly or otherwise. There always seems to be a marked repulsion to 'politesse'. Way too used to the gimme gimme, I guess.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:16 PM
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To be exiled to Calgary is a fate worse than death.

Where's DS when you need him?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:26 PM
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Canadian trivia:

"La sauvage a passe durant la nuit" is a euphemism for chilbirth. It literally means: "the savage girl has come by during the night"

Why?: when white women first began to be banished in droves to north america because of prostitution and indecency, the white furtraders were forced to leave their native mistresses. Native women were not legally allowed within city borders, but would sneak in during the night to leave their newborn half white/half native children on the father's doorstep. If they were to keep the kids, they would be banished from both native and white communities.
Donc, la sauvage a passe...


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:30 PM
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IA, I had no idea you were an expatriot.

Bais oui! I'm all about the Ottawa Valley.

Yeah, Calgary. God.

Canada is not just Toronto and Vancouver, Minneapolitan. Much of it significantly less progressive and cosmopolitan (though there is the health care, of course, and the wingnuts, of which there are a few, thankfully never achieve critical mass). Anyway, I'd let you in.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:30 PM
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I've decided. And perhaps you'll be inclined to agree, IA. If Harper privitizes health care, I'm moving to either France or England. Any other countries you can think of that offer health care and accept EU passports?


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-21-07 11:36 PM
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Any other countries you can think of that offer health care and accept EU passports?

Most if not all of the countries in the EU, I believe.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 12:05 AM
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313 is right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 12:35 AM
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Oy vey, Canuck regionalism on Unfogged. It's good to see the GWN represented here and all, but if this isn't jumping the shark I don't know what is.

My compatriots don't seem to have been too helpful, so here's a little capsule guide to Canada for Minneapolitan:

Toronto and Vancouver are both perfectly nice places... to visit, particularly if you know people there. Neither one is remotely as "progressive" as it imagines itself to be. (If I were forced to live in either one, I'd definitely pick TO, though, on account of its ethnic diversity, active nightlife and actual transit system; a city the size of Vancouver's got no business being that dull.)

People in the rest of Canada care a great deal about the Federal government, but Ottawa registers nary a blip on any radar screen outside the city itself, excepting those who remember it as really clean with a lovely and historical canal. So if you like canals, there you go.

Saskatchewan and the Maritimes are very nice places that send us labourers and friendly farm girls. I hear they have sizable towns which they refer to as "cities," which is very quaint.

Winnipeg (and Manitoba generally) has a great reputation but weather so horrible that people only go there under threat of being caged with Rapebear.

Everyone loves Montreal, except for the people who keep trying to leave it for some reason. It's great to have Quebec in the country, but I can see why the Quebecois are always pissed that nobody pays attention to them unless they're trying to secede; it's largely true. (And truth to tell, I've met few people more disgustingly ignorant about the whole Quebec issue than even liberal Albertans.)

Alberta's two major cities are in but not really of (thank God) Canada's version of the Bible Belt. Edmonton is a very nice blue-collar liberal town with a great arts scene, and I'm sure the endless yapping about "redneck Alberta" must piss Edmontonians off the most. As a Calgarian, I am required to be secretly and perversely pleased by this.

Calgary is the more active town in many ways. It's a tremendously fun place to live, remarkably friendly for a city its size -- owing to the fact that a lot of its population are newcomers from small towns in the Maritimes -- close to lots of good camping country and to the Rockies and with a good chunk of fine parkland of its own. It's also currently fucked up in a number of ways owing to a recent boom which has taxed the existing infrastructure, revealed how much the city needs rent control and produced a crack cocaine and homelessness epidemic which sucks. The upsides still outweigh the down, though, by a large margin.

The bad news is, Canada is basically a protectorate of the US, so whatever is shitty there will be shitty here in pretty short order. So moving here might not help with that.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 12:40 AM
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Montreal is nice but freaking cold in the winter. Toronto is all right and has something of the feel of eastern US cities. Vancouver is beautiful. Southern Ontario is dull and scrubby and kind of looks like upstate New York, i.e., ugly.

Some Canadians really are pretty cool people, my fake animus notwithstanding.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 1:01 AM
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Check out this supremely badass British reporter exposing the shit that's going down in Beijing before the Olympics. At the end, the cops come along, rough up him and his crew, and break his camera.

That guy has guts. Good to know our own media are keeping us up to date on whether Britney can drive with her kids in the car and such.

(Also, mad props to his Chinese translator, who surely is at greater risk of getting chucked in jail than a Western reporter is.)


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 1:54 AM
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China has some very serious human rights abuses on its hands. That is undeniable. However, I'm starting to suspect that there is some slander going on, on the part of western media. ie: the warning issued recently telling people to avoid buying brightly coloured plastic hairties made in china - because aparently, they are made from USED CONDOMS - and hence detrimental to human health.

How viable is that? As if anyone is going to rustle through garbage to procure the amount of used condoms necessary to sell these extremely cheap hairties in bulk all across the world.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 3:13 AM
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Mr. A: Hey, you're an Eskimo, aren't you?

Mr. B: Yeah, I am.

Mr. A: Inuit!


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 3:21 AM
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Vancouver is so physically beautiful that it makes up for the boredom (which I didn't stay long enough to experience). There's miles and miles of shoreline, and from UBC you can walk down to the water and be all alone on the shore. Housing prices are so high that no one can afford to live there -- my brother lives in nearby Delta, which is thoroughly nondescript. (Who those people are in Vancouver I have no idea; Chinese, I'm told.) Victoria across the bay has quaint customs similar to those of our British colonials. Vancouver also has a San-Francisco-grade Chinatown.

Wiki: Winnipeg is the coldest city in the world with a population of over 600,000. Winnipeg has many of the good points of Elgin, N.D., except higher prices and more crowding. My high school band marched in the Governor's Day parade in Winnipeg twice around 1960, so I know the place well.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 5:59 AM
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Not to be paranoid, but Canada will probably have serious disputes with the US over two issues in the next half-century: the Northwest Passage and the water in the Great Lakes and the north-running rivers. They should beef up their military and train suicide bombers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 6:01 AM
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Story

The Chinese government is on record in the U.N. that talk of "human rights" is western cultural imperialism. Since the US opportunistically and cynically uses rights talk to justify whatever its foreign policy happens to be, China has a case in that sense. But the fact remains that in China The State is everything and the individual citizen , or any inconvenient group of citizens, is nothing. There are scarcely any institutional safeguards against state abuses, or forms of redress either.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 6:15 AM
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Emerson's anti-American paranoia makes him a perfect candidate for Canadian citizenship.

Hey, DS: I was just kidding about Calgary!


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 7:38 AM
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What's so funny about Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat?

An old friend spent moderate amounts of time in the Canadian outback (Newfoundland and Yellowknife) and said that they're better in concept than they are in actuality. He was cured of his desire to go to the end of the world.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 7:48 AM
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323.2: Oh God, did I seem like I was actually defending Calgary's honour? Shit. Earnestness, I cast thee out!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 7:56 AM
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The Adjuncts are simple folk, DS. You need to express yourself directly and in short, simple sentences.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 8:09 AM
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321: They should beef up their military and train suicide bombers.

First they need to get invaded by some enemy of the US - maybe the EU. Then we'll beef up their military and train the suicide bombers.

46°40´ or Fight!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 8:24 AM
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Winnipeg is the coldest city in the world with a population of over 600,000.

I worked in a lab in Pgh with a guy who was from India. In the winter he was always coming in and complaining about how cold it was and how hard it was to start his car and how ridiculous the notion was that we should be expected to walk ten blocks in this weather to get around campus. Finally someone asked "Wait, didn't you do a postdoc in Winnipeg two years ago?" He said yeah, but he never had to go outside in the winter because all the buildings were connected by insulated corridors and he could park in underground parking garages and he had found it much easier to find an apartment building with an indoor parking garage as well. I hear SUNY-Buffalo is the same way.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 8:26 AM
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Every place is better in concept than in reality, even Elgin. No place is as progressive as it thinks itself. No ethnic jokes are as funny as the joker thinks they are -- and of course offense is in the ear of the jokee,* not the heart of the joker.

* Point about the FMJ thing well taken -- it wasn't the focus of my ick reaction anyway.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 8:59 AM
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320:Wiki Winnipeg is the coldest city in the world with a population of over 600,000 - that isn't named Ulan Bator.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 9:08 AM
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Apparently U.B. is about 600,000. Oddly, Wiki doesn't tell you, but Info-please does.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 9:14 AM
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331: They have it listed as 1,000,000 in the righthand sidebar on Wiki. They reference the official city website. I also thought Novosibirsk might be colder, but it looks to be just a tad warmer than Winnipeg.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 9:21 AM
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Neither one is remotely as "progressive" as it imagines itself to be
Minneapolis isn't, either. We just lost our only surviving worker-managed food co-op. We're in danger of losing the second-best worker-owned cafe. The best radical center in town closed down over the summer. The unions are in bad shape (of course). The non-profit film society is beset by mismanagement and debt. The huge annual puppet parade has been co-opted by mealy-mouthed liberals who are freaked out by the slightest hint of the radical -- despite the fact that their organization was founded by anarchist anti-Vietnam War protesters. The libraries are hardly ever open. The park system is in the grip of crypto-rightist machine politicians. And on top of all that, we've got to hunker down for a couple of months of hyper-trophied police harassment next year when the Repugs come to St. Paul. Don't even get me started on what a comparative worker's paradise we are when you consider the alternative: the vast ring of suburban sprawl that engulfs us, populated as it is with Aber-zombies and their hypocritical holy roller parents.

Blood! Fire!

Fall Babylon, fall Babylon, fall Babylon, fall!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 9:39 AM
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Minneapolitan is the Über-Frowner. Frowner herself is Little Mary Sunshine on the relative scale.

Whatever else you say, Minneapolis is represented in Congress by a black Muslim, albeit a mild-mannered Wobegonian one. And the Strib sometimes prints editorials which I more or less agree with, which I don't believe that the Portland Oregonian ever did during my 40 years there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 9:54 AM
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329: No ethnic jokes are as funny as the joker thinks they are

Mine are! Newfies totally love me, especially when I end every sentence with "b'y" every time one of them walks into a room. That totally cracks them up!

Ummm, and for the record, I'd just like to note that any negative comments about other Canadian places above were totally tongue-in-cheek. Except for Ottawa.

and of course offense is in the ear of the jokee, not the heart of the joker

Oh, sometimes it's in the heart of the joker. That's the thing, innit. Only a sucker plays the Good Sport and laughs along with someone who's actually being malicious.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 10:17 AM
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I forgot to say that I would totally move to Thunder Bay, now that I have learned that they have actual Italian anti-fascist bars there. And it's virtually as cheap as Elgin, NoDak, from what I hear.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 10:37 AM
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The boredom factor in Vancouver is overstated, depending on what you find not-boring, of course. Housing prices are as ridiculous as advertised currently, but real estate in Vancouver has boom-bust cycles, and it's overdue for a bust currently. The drug problem is also, unfortunately, not overstated either. Main & Hastings and surroundings is about as depressing a place as you're likely to find on the continent. (And to tie another thread-theme in: lots of First Nation people there; it's actually a long-standing community, but poor poor poor. Just wait until the Olympics to see some world class sweeping under the carpet. Inukshuks for everyone!)

My sense of Vancouver's progressiveness is probably skewed, the riding I live in is one of Canada's few NDP strongholds.


Posted by: icathing | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 10:43 AM
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337: yeah, this is all true about Vancouver, but you are missing one crucial discriptor: the niceness.

1)Cars stop for pedestrians between lights and crosswalks out of their own volition!!! fucking weird. In montreal they play mind games with you, sometimes revving up and lurching forward just for fun as you cross in front of them upon the the command of a green light.

2)Even the whores are nice. My sister was walking along Hastings one afternoon, when she accidentally took the wrong turn. She walked into a whore who was about to do something with her Jon as my sister came prancing along. The whore stopped whatever she was doing and actually gave my sister a blushing little "sorry about that...I'll wait till you're further along the road." Contrast: whores in Toronto spit and cuss at you for being on their sidewalk... unless they are soliciting you, of course.

I could go on, but I won't.


Posted by: Scizor Cyster | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 11:29 AM
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338: I think, having lived in the lower mainland all my life I don't notice this. Friends that have moved here do; the downside is that politeness does not equal friendliness - it can be hard to break into the circles people have here.

I tell people it's the residual british influence. Unfortunately, there's not enough such that there are places to have high tea everywhere.


Posted by: icathing | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 11:45 AM
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They say that in Victoria there is, though. Rumor.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 12:05 PM
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I was recently listening to a very nicely done CD of a number of bands in the Victoria local music scene.

Some details here.

(Full disclosure, the person who recorded the songs and orchestrated the project, Alan Law, is a good friend of a friend).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 12:12 PM
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338.1 -- This is just Western Rule. I don't think Vancouver is any different than the other coastal cites wrt drivers stopping for peds. (Except LA, where the concept of the ped seems to be considered heretical.) (Example of a joke not as funny as I thought it might be).


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 12:32 PM
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Now, here in Lake Wobegon we still have four-way traffic stops. And one day sooner or later four people will all show up at one of these stops at exactly the same time (it would have to be the right four people), and none of them will move until the police make them move. Because it wouldn't be polite to go first.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 12:37 PM
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Brown people walk all the time in Los Angeles.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11-22-07 2:57 PM
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I've spend two vacation weeks in Vancouver, and I have to agree that, based on that sample alone, I've determined Vancouver to be the politest city on Earth.

Pretty, too.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 11-24-07 8:21 AM
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