Re: I Don't Even Have An Opinion

1

If they play each other, someone should video it and compare it to this. Of course, if any NZ types get snotty about it, there's always this for laffs.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:28 AM
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1) "We're being overrun by immigrant hordes who are undermining our culture!"
2) "Is 'of Maori descent' like 'one-eighth Cherokee princess'?"
3) At least it's more manly than the Hail Mary huddle followed by "Mary, Queen of Victory/PRAY FOR US!"

I figure you should have selection of opinions.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:31 AM
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Standpipe got it exactly right.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:33 AM
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My uncle lives in Euless.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:35 AM
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What do the Iranians do to psych themselves up before sporting events, anyway? Shout "If this were 550BC we would be kicking your ass"? Kidnap some opposing players and humiliate them by dressing them up in cheap suits?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:35 AM
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It depends on the opponent. Against the Irish, for example, they roll a potato to the middle of the field, crawl wearily toward it, and pretend to expire just before they get there. It's a mocking culture.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:39 AM
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5: Glue caterpillars to retarded kids.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:40 AM
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That first link in 1 is really quite cool.

The Chief illinwek dance bit always offended me, so I thought that this would, but it doesn't. I'm not sure why, though I think part of it is (1) the haka links clipped don't involve elaborate costuming, (2) the Illini bit feigned authenticity but came off as a big caricature, and (3) the Wikipedia article on the haka describes it as a traditional war dance, which just seems so well-suited to athletic competition.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:42 AM
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I thought the wikipedia article said that hakas aren't just war dances.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:43 AM
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There's a clip with the Pacific Islander team doing their dance in Edinburgh [prior to playing Scotland].

They bring a couple of costumed guys out -- but it's pacific islanders doing it, not some white guys appropriating/mocking it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbLH8LXlpKM


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:47 AM
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9: Not exclusively war dances, no. But presumably the pre-game renditions are modeled on the war dances. The Wikipedia article also mentions that warriors traditionally went into battle naked, so, you know, not entirely authentic...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:53 AM
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My immediate reaction is that it looks pretty darn cool. This is probably just a sign that I'm a twit, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:55 AM
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It helps that the teams aren't called the Rabid Maori or anything like that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:57 AM
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3) At least it's more manly than the Hail Mary huddle followed by "Mary, Queen of Victory/PRAY FOR US!"

The "Mary Queen of Victory" part is actually interchangeable with just about any other saint.

The Hail Mary part is mandatory.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:58 AM
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Against the Irish, for example, they roll a potato to the middle of the field, crawl wearily toward it, and pretend to expire just before they get there

How odd -- that's what Irish teams do as well.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:58 AM
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re: 13

The key part is that a significant % of the team ARE Maori.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:58 AM
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Huh. My ever-so-vague guess, to be abandoned at anyone who's got more accurate knowledge's behest, and largely analogizing from Samoan attitudes to Maori attitudes which works just about as well as analyzing traditional Spanish culture on the basis of a superficial acquaintance with Russia, is that this probably wouldn't piss traditional Maori off. Might crack them up, but probably not offensive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:59 AM
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re: 15

In exactly the same way as Scots don a tartan hat with a shit ginger wig sticking out of it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 9:59 AM
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re: 13

Shit, I realised you were talking about the US teams rather than the NZ/Islander teams in the linked vids.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:00 AM
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I recommend a strenuous regime of not caring.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:00 AM
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The Haka is baddass. Its worth about 10 extra points, no matter what sport its being performed before. Everyone with even the slightest claim to the Haka is well served to use it.


Posted by: TheCraig | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:02 AM
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BYU has lots of Pacific Islander players -- lots of Mormons down there. Also, this is the kind of homosocial display that is perfect for BYU, even more so because it authentically comes from other lands across the sea.

My rugby-fan roommate says the Tongan (iirc) national rugby team is very Christian -- prays together, sings hymns after games instead of the traditional bawdy rugby songs.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:02 AM
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Shit, I realised you were talking about the US teams rather than the NZ/Islander teams in the linked vids.

Yeah, the appropriateness of the Haka for the actual NZ/Islander teams is pretty indisputable.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:04 AM
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The chess world has not seen the haka yet, but once it does, it will never be the same again.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:04 AM
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Didn't they do this before the Republican debate last night?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:05 AM
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sings hymns after games instead of the traditional bawdy rugby songs.

"Four and twenty virgins went up to Inverness, and when the ball was over the savior was born unto us, oh yes ..."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:05 AM
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The haka is a dance of conditional peace.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:06 AM
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My rugby-fan roommate says the Tongan (iirc) national rugby team is very Christian -- prays together, sings hymns after games instead of the traditional bawdy rugby songs.

Yeah, the Samoan impression of Tongans (and of course Samoans are mostly very Christian as well) is that they're a bunch of non-violent goody-goodies. Which is kind of weird, considering that a whole lot of Samoan history and myth is about struggling under and throwing off the imperialist Tongan yoke.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:07 AM
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17: Also, like Di says, it's being done by the team, rather than the cheerleaders. Still, the link in 1 is pretty funny.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:07 AM
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re: 23

Yeah, although I've heard/read arguments about it's appropriateness for the NZ national team, too [which is why it was in my head, I think].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:07 AM
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The BYU team should ululate before games.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:08 AM
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What do the Iranians do to psych themselves up before sporting events

Not some weak-ass haka, I'll tell you.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:13 AM
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I don't even know -- does Manu Samoa do a sasa before rugby games? I suppose I could go search YouTube.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:14 AM
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I was going to mention the considerable Mormon presence in the Pacific making the BYU adoption of the haka, at least, not very surprising (BYU even has a campus in Hawaii), but I see Bave got there first.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:16 AM
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30: Yeah I'm sure the Moriori on Chatham Island appreciate it. ... or would have.

...and yes I know it is more complicated than that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:17 AM
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An opinion?

Big anger. Soon come. From general south-westerly direction.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:20 AM
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Manu Samoa do a siva tau, not a sasa, which looks pretty much like a haka if you don't know what you're looking at.

But Samoans, mostly, and this might extend to Polynesians generally (I have the vague impression that it does, but not really the knowledge to back it up), aren't terribly sensitive about having their culture appropriated. If I were going to broadly oversimplify a vague sense of the attitude, the Samoan way of doing things is the best and most reasonable, so a non-Samoan trying to emulate it is showing good sense rather than offensively sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong. This isn't a perfectly general rule -- some things are sacred, and I'm sure some cultural appropriations could be a piss-off if contemptuous enough, but it's not a really sensitive area.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:25 AM
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(And I feel like a big jerk analogizing from Samoans to Maori, but the fact that white members of the All Blacks have been doing the haka together with Maori teammates for years now suggests that the attitude is similar.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:27 AM
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37: I wonder if that sort of attitude is more typical of smaller islands that are still primarily Polynesian in population and government than of places like New Zealand (or Hawaii).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:28 AM
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I don't, personally, know anything about this, of course, and 38 is evidence in the other direction, but I still wonder.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:30 AM
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Might be. Part of the reason Samoans aren't crazy sensitive about cultural appropriation is that they never got terribly thoroughly colonized. They really remember and resent the imperial Tongan yoke. The Germans they didn't notice all that much, except that they left the good brewery and the biracial families who run some bakeries and hotels (and the woman in Apia with the store that's the only place you can get decent sausage). And the English/NZers the same -- they resented them politically, but didn't get really culturally dominated at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:33 AM
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I don't know about the appropriateness and so forth, but if that guy leading in the BYU video were doing the BYU haka in front of me, I would definitely run away.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:33 AM
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There's a Samoa myth/historical story about a couple of Samoan heroes who lived in a village that had been conquered by Tongans. They organized a dance festival ("fiafia", I'm not sure how else to translate it), to show their acceptance of and respect for their new overlords. One of the dances had a repeated motif (you get some dances that are kind of 'called' like squaredances) where the lyrics with matching movements were "Shuffle left, bend down and go for the Tongans," where they'd turn toward the Tongans to show their respect at the end of the movement. Until the dance took them to the part of the area where the war clubs were hidden, at which point the motif became "Shuffle left (to find your club with your feet), bend down (to get it), and go for the Tongans! (you can fill in what happens next.)" A lot of Samoan myths involve people getting clubbed. The dance is still a traditional one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:43 AM
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I think this comment from the Tonga vs. Samoa video says it all.

fuccccck tongans!!!!!samoans 2 the fullest!!!!!..we are better!!!!...we got NFL PLAYERS,WE GOT MOVIE STARS WE GOT RAP ARTIST SO WHAT YOU GOT???YOU GOT DICCCCKS IN YO MOUTH!!!!!..WERE THE ONLY ISLANDERS THAT OUTSHINE ALL YOU BASTARDS!!!!...


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:47 AM
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YOU GOT DICCCCKS IN YO MOUTH!!!!!

He says that like it's a bad thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:48 AM
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Yeah, there's still a lot of feeling there. I never knew anyone Tongan, so I have no idea if the hostility is mutual, or if it's like one of those kind of sad sports rivalries where only one side really cares.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:49 AM
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or if it's like one of those kind of sad sports rivalries

There's another kind?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:50 AM
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They're less sad when both sides are equally invested.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:51 AM
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47: They come in "sad," "tragic" and "ridiculous" flavours.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:51 AM
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On topic, I think Immanuel Kant and George Orwell would agree with me that this sort of thing is very dangerous for a modern, secular society to indulge. It must be stopped. As Voltaire once famously said, "Kill them all, God will know his own."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:53 AM
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People say that Samoan tweens are extremely virile. Unfortunately LB dares not tell us what she knows.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:56 AM
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Tweens? Geez, man, give me some credit for restraining my lechery to my post, rather than pre-, pubescent students.

(Who were, largely, attractively stalwart, not that I noticed because that would be wrong.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:58 AM
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I have the impression that Samoans tend to be very heavily muscled. Is that accurate?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:59 AM
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DS: That was Arnaud Amaury, Archbishop of Narbonne and representative of the Pope, during the Albigensian Crusade. Often confused with Voltaire because...... I can't come up with a punch line.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 10:59 AM
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With one exception the Samoans I have known have been extremely sturdy. Quite a number of them play pro football.

At school I also knew two 6-foot Samoan women who had a very confident air. They were less husky than Samoan men, but plenty strong. Think Venus Williams and her sister.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:02 AM
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53: Their traditional battle invocation is: "if you smeeellll... what the Rock... is cookin'!" At least I've heard that somewhere.

54: No, I'm sure it has to be Voltaire. He was very famous for his moral compass.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:03 AM
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44: I think this comment from the Tonga vs. Samoa video says it all.

Maybe Spam® can bring them together, where white man's sports have failed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:04 AM
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53: You betcha. A Samoan teenager who does a lot of physical work looks like a superhero cartoon -- a pretty common body-type that comes naturally to a lot of Samoan men is what looks like bodybuilding muscle on a white guy. No stereotype covers everyone, but there aren't a lot of wiry Samoans. As people get older, they lay on some fat over the muscle until they look like football players, bulky, but still muscular as anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:09 AM
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Perhaps Voltaire turned on the Catholics only after he had helped them massacre the Albigensians.

The pop song "Dominique" from the Sixties was a Catholic song glorifying the Albigensian crusade. The world's non-existent Albigensian community failed to protest. Genocide works.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:09 AM
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There's also a truly awesome Wall Street Journal article about Euless, TX and the haka. It's apparently caught on so much that the football team has performed it to build morale before state educational tests. (I think there's some more video of the football team on the WSJ's site, although I couldn't find it when I checked this time.)


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:10 AM
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I think that the sporting event that comes after the Haka is redundant. Unless it involves chucking sharp things at the other team, that is.


Posted by: double-plus-ungood | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:12 AM
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The Pacific islanders I have known were very jolly and cheerful with extremely pleasant manners, but scary when they lost their temper, which was very rarely. But they reported that back home, fighting was regarded as normal behavior and not problematic if you won.

Going to Last Chance U. I encountered a very diverse ethnic mix.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:13 AM
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Best line from the WSJ piece:

Trinity first performed the haka two years ago after one of the Tongan players saw a video on the Internet of New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team doing the war dance before one of its games.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:13 AM
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59: Huh. You mean this old Singing Nun song? Are the "straying liars" a reference to the Albigensians?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:15 AM
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That is funny, that the haka got brought to Texas by Tongans. Again, a Tongan war dance probably doesn't look terribly different, and I don't know what it's called, but the fact that Tongans are introducing the Maori war dance is another vote for this not being terribly sensitive stuff to appropriate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:17 AM
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62: fighting was regarded as normal behavior and not problematic if you won.

Future HRC foreign policy advisor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:20 AM
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Yeah, I was struck by that, and the fact that the Tongans thought that they were being accepted when the whites did the dance, even though it's not a Tongan dance. It's all good!

Looks like this is all totally mainstream now: CBS News clip on the haka.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:20 AM
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The one you linked was bowdlerized to "fought sin like anything", leaving out the Albigensians. Actual lyric"

In the age when John Lackland
Was the king of England,
Our father, Dominique,
Fought the Albigensians.

It seems to me that there's a bloodier version describing Dominique (founder of the Dominicans) hacking some Albigensians to death.

The Singing Nun left the church and became a lesbian.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:27 AM
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Mutation in the myostatin gene of Samoans?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:28 AM
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69: Here's what that looks like in babies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:31 AM
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Much more attractive than leptin deficiency.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:36 AM
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15 months old.

He looks fat, but according to the story he has less body fat than most babies. His name is Luka Meliksishvili, which is Georgian and possibly Muslim (Melik).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:36 AM
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How did ogged get in the picture next to him?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:37 AM
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Text:


Big bubbas ... Fifteen-month-old Luka Meliksishvili (right) weighs 26kg and 5-year-old Georgiy Bibilauri weighs 62kg. The pair comes from Georgia and are candidates for the Guinness Book of Records as the heaviest kids in the world. Photo: AFP


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 11:37 AM
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Vaguely relevant: shortly after September 11, I had a conversation with a senior executive of an airline that was flying to Polynesia and Micronesia. At the time, there was all sorts of discussion and uncertainty about what security upgrades would be mandated: air marshalls, reinforced cockpit doors, etc.

She joked to me: "Fuck that, I'll just put a Samoan in the jump seat."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:10 PM
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Now I'm getting uncomfortable, having set off the 'let's stereotype Samoans' thing. If you want to find delicately built, entirely non-violent Samoans they're out there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:15 PM
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In fact, I knew one such. He was also sort of nerdy and scholarly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:19 PM
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Now I'm getting uncomfortable, having set off the 'let's stereotype Samoans' thing.

It's okay, LB. I've heard they don't mind.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:26 PM
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Samoans: muscular, violent and indifferent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:27 PM
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Would it be better if we stereotyped Tongans? While we were in Portland my sister mentioned that a Tongan company had rebuilt her retaining wall and a couple others on her block. I had been assuming it was only in Hawaii that rock walls are mostly all built by Tongans, but apparently not.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:45 PM
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'let's stereotype Samoans' thing.

They didn't make the Bottom 50.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:47 PM
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I had been assuming it was only in Hawaii that rock walls are mostly all built by Tongans, but apparently not.

This is a bizarrely specific stereotype. I guess the best ones are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:56 PM
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80: I guess they aren't built for high steel, that's more of a Mohawk thing.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:57 PM
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83: Nice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 12:59 PM
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Tongans are smooooth.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:03 PM
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There was a Tongan pop band in the early 80s called K'pau or something like that. I liked it, relatively speaking. It was a family group with a patriarch, like the Jackson Five.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:05 PM
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"Is 'of Maori descent' like 'one-eighth Cherokee princess'?"

Decidedly not. I say good for the teams. My knowledge of all this stuff is totally second-hand--our NZ friends in Canadia were both half (I think) Maori, and they were really interesting on the subject of how Maori are treated in NZ, Maori language (which they spoke and were teaching their kids), etc. It's definitely nowhere near a dead or dying culture, though it is pretty heavily stigmatized by white NZ.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:22 PM
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86: The only inaccurate words in that statement are "Tongan", "family", "patriarch", and "Jackson Five".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:22 PM
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Yeah, the appropriateness of the Haka for the actual NZ/Islander teams is pretty indisputable.

Which includes the Texas high school team. Were people unclear on that?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:25 PM
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87: To clarify, the quote was meant as wondering whether the chant had any real ties to Maori culture or was along the lines of made-up stories attributed to Native American groups by Girl Scout troops.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:26 PM
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This is a bizarrely specific stereotype. I guess the best ones are.

You have to go east of the Rockies to find a baggage screener that isn't Pinoy. (This one was more true immediately after 9/11. Not so much anymore.)

But it is the law that:
If you are in California, the owner of the doughnut shop is Cambodian.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:27 PM
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Also.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:29 PM
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Wow, never heard the word "Pinoy" before.

Tell us more!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:33 PM
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The only encounter I've had with T'Pau was during a Beavis and Butthead episode when they were watching one of her gauzy, whispery videos.

BH: "Call now for live, one on one conversations...share your intimate thoughts...dollar ninety-five a minute...must be 18 or older. This chick's name is...T'Pau."
B: "Yeah, that's Spanish for this sucks."
BH:"Hey Beavis, if we had a dollar ninety-five we could call up and share our intimate thoughts."
B: "Yeah, we could tell her she sucks."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:36 PM
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95-98% of all museum attendants in America are Pinoy.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:37 PM
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75% of the people you see playing Brazilians in pop culture are Pinoy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:38 PM
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Dude. I hadn't noticed until you said so, but in retrospect, I believe you about the museum attendants.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:41 PM
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Micronesia hosts a common terrible mutation that protects heterozygotes from malaria, causes ovalocytosis, always fatal, in homozygotes, worse than CF (worse disease, more common allele) for mediterranean populations. In the short time since the introduction of quinones, allele frequencies have shifted noticeably. Human evolution in historical time, in response to horrible pressure from malaria, on these hard-to-find islands.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:47 PM
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93: Never read Cryptonomicon? The product Randy's company is pushing to generate cash flow is called the "Pinoy-gram".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:47 PM
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68: Maybe someone eventually told her that Dominic's role in the crusade is (traditionally) supposed to have been non-violent.

99: Silly book, really.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:53 PM
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100: And yet better than what came after. I got maybe 100 pages into Quicksilver before giving up.

Although it's not like the rot wasn't noticeable before Cryptonomicon. The Diamond Age should have been a warning.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:56 PM
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True dat.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 1:58 PM
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Actually, I think that "T'Pau" was the inaccurate word. I was thinking of The Jets, which someone linked to above. Same time period. Motherfucking Top-40 bands all sound alike to me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:01 PM
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Tongan Mormons from Minneapolis. The whole world is one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:02 PM
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The only so-called Pinoy I've ever met was a Mormon from Hawai'i.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:04 PM
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It's a small world after all.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:04 PM
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(Speaking of things that will cause horrible mutations...)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:05 PM
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DS is an apologist for the Albigensian genocide. Damn good thing for him that it was successful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:07 PM
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49 -> 44/45, I imagine.

Of course, I dispute its validity.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:10 PM
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DS is an apologist for the Albigensian genocide.

I'm very proud of the Church for destroying those heretical motherfuckers. Also, I completely deny that it ever happened, and affirm that all this talk of "genocide" is an Albigensian conspiracy. It's a well known fact that they survived and now run the phone companies... and therefore the world.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:13 PM
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109: To 47, rather. Nobody is disputing the validity of 45.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:14 PM
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If I ever run into an Albigensian I'm sending him or her after you, Slack. This shall not stand.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:16 PM
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87: I remember receiving an ms and having subsequent correspondence with a prof at the University of Wellington or somesuch and all of their letterhead, etc. was in both Maori and English.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:20 PM
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112: I shall fear no evil. Benny's got my back.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:20 PM
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With all due respect, that's one evil-looking Pope. Sorry, IA.

Maybe, you know, Poles are genetically not adapted to Poping. No offense to Stanley or anybody.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:22 PM
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Is there another use of "pinoy" I don't know about? Ned is confusing me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:23 PM
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115: Indeed, I thought "Satanism on the rise" fit that pic quite well, myself.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:24 PM
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If only Hillary were Samoan.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:24 PM
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Poles are genetically not adapted to Poping

Benny is a Kraut. And JPII seemed to do OK at poping, at least by prevailing standards.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:25 PM
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That's right, they've installed a new one since I last looked. Sorry Stanley. You can be Pope now again, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:28 PM
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at least by prevailing standards.

He benefitted from the soft pierogi of low expectations.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:31 PM
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To clarify, the quote was meant as wondering whether the chant had any real ties to Maori culture or was along the lines of made-up stories attributed to Native American groups by Girl Scout troops.

Oh, I figured you were joking. But the answer to this queestion is no, it's a real dance. You can see it in Whale Rider.

Pinoy, if I am not mistaken, is a Filipino word for "Filipino/a."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:32 PM
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"pinay" for girls.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:33 PM
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Another stereotype for Filipinos: family cover bands, usually Top-40. I used to know a guy who was in one. Every family member sings and plays an instrument or three. The adults have day jobs and as they get older they tend to leave the band. The guys I knew was in his middle to late 30s and worked as a med tech. He had a definite dark side.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:33 PM
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Which is to say, I know that that's what it is, but whether it's an actual Tagalog word (I assume it is), whether it has any specific link to a specific ethnic subgroup other than "Filipino" generally (I don't think so? But I could be wrong), etc., I can't say.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:34 PM
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122.last it is, except iirc it's gendered (Pinoy/Pinay) but not consistently used in a gendered way.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:34 PM
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123: Aha.

Google "happy slip" if you want to know more about American/Filipino culture, and watch the videos.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:35 PM
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125: I'm not sure about the etymology, but the Filipinos I knew used it inclusively.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:35 PM
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128: But does it refer to anglos who live in the Philippines? Even if they've done so for several generations? I don't think it does, does it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:36 PM
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129: hmmm. probably not. At least not ethnically `pure' anglos.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:39 PM
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116, if you were confused by 96, it was a joke. But was not followed by other jokes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:40 PM
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Te Reo Maori isn't heavily stigmatised by white NZ. It's an official language, for fuck's sake, and is heavily subsidised. Parliament uses Maori in some circumstances. Every generic literacy requirement in the NZ schooling system can be satisfied by English or Maori. There's a Maori language TV channel supported by state funds. Before sports events, the national anthem is sung in Maori and English. The state-funded radio station broadcasts a Maori language segment at quarter to six in the evening every workday.

If you're going to defame an entire nation, you might want to get your facts straight.

That's not to say there's not justifiable grounds for attacking the state of race relations in NZ (the National Party's last election campaign, the Maori Party full stop, Treaty claims, the worse economic, educational and healthcare outcomes for Maori, etc), but claims that Te Reo etc are broadly stigmatised are nonsense.

Oh, and it's Victoria University of Wellington, Te Whare Wananga O Te Upoko O Te Ika A Maui*, to give a further concrete example of bilingualism.

This stuff is, of course, reasonably recent. While, since the Ngata Revival Maori culture has been accorded respect as a living culture, it's only really since the 70's that the kohanga reo movements and such like really got off the ground.

And, as European New Zealander, I'm pretty sure that while those haka are utterly awful haka from an aesthetic point of view, I highly doubt that any Maori are going to be offended by this. Laughing at the funny foreigners perhaps. Feeling vaguely complimented that even people in Texas know Ka Mate, or maybe, if of the right iwi, a bit miffed that it wasn't their haka that became the default.

In fact, if you want patronising assumptions, talking about the haka, as if there is only one haka is a better bet than folk doing something in an entirely respectful manner. It's like talking about Beethoven's Second Symphony as The Symphony.

* lit, `the knowledge house of the head of the fish of Maui', Wellington being the head of the fish of Maui.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:41 PM
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If you're going to defame an entire nation, you might want to get your facts straight.

I guess this is a bad time to mention that Kiwis smell funny?

Seriously, assuming that 132 is a response to 87, it's completely ridiculous. It is possible for the Maori culture to still be stigmatized despite the relatively progressive approach of NZ to linguistic and cultural issues, and B is right to put some stock in Maori perspectives on whether this is so.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:50 PM
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111: Yes, I was making a limp (ha!) joke.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 2:59 PM
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the Maori culture

Because there's only one Maori culture. I'm being serious here about how people should avoid this -- the other night there was a (subtitled) piece on one of the Maori news shows about the demise of regional cultural variations, as people learn their Maori at (state) schools which enforce a spurious norm. There's a real problem here, with a certain aspect of Maori culture being enshrined as the Maori culture, and all the others getting relegated to inauthenticity -- see the meeting houses in Auckland Museum, painted red because (supposedly) that's what Maori carvings are painted. That's a greater danger to Maori culture, that it should become fossilised by a group of well meaning historians, than that it be stigmatised.

It is, of course, possible that officialdom and the rest of society are hideously out of step with each other. Ockham's Razor suggests otherwise. I cite official acts because they're easier to talk about in concrete terms than the vaguer and harder to detail broader cultural associations.

But, hell, B's wrong, and offensively at that, about the stigmatisation of Maori culture in NZ (like, Whale Rider, River Queen, Cotton, Ihimaera, Hotere don't exist? McCahon didn't paint Sky Lark?) and I can point you to people who've written screeds on this sort of thing, or at least I would if the website wasn't down.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:37 PM
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You're local to NZ, and almost no one else around here is (well, we had an American ex-pat in NZ, but I haven't seen him in years. I've been there for a couple of weeks (very pretty country you have there), not that that means I know anything.)

But surely it's possible for 'Maori culture' as preserved in artwork, and dance, and museums, and language, to be valued highly by the gov't and other ethnic groups in NZ, while Maori culture in terms of day-to-day life as it is lived by Maori is still kind of stigmatized? I've certainly had the impression that anti-Maori racism, while probably not of the magnitude of the problems we have in the US, was not a nonexistent issue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:44 PM
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Because there's only one Maori culture.

Fine, excise "the." You have now scored a Pissy Semantic Point, and I'm very proud of you.

And I'm sure Witi Ihimaera would totally agree with you that Maori culture is not stigmatized. That's a fantastic example, and I don't doubt he'd love to hear himself cited for that purpose. By the same token, North of 60, the existence of Nunavut and the career of Tom King must mean that there's no racism in Canada. All those aboriginals who talk about it must be making shit up, just like B's Maori contacts.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:47 PM
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Sorry, anon was by me.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:47 PM
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I think "completely ridiculous" is, in itself, a completely ridiculous statement to make. "Heavily stigmatized" is also. You might be able to get away with "slightly stigmatised", but I really don't think "stigmatised" is at all the right way to characterise what is a genuine issue. I don't think any Māori would do so either.

Of course, that does depend on the timescale we're talking about, and bitch didn't mention when this was; even thirty years ago it would have been almost completely accurate.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:48 PM
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138: I'm usually the person who gets pissy about that, but it was clear from context. Where are you -- North or South Island? I had a good friend from Dunedin back when I was living in Samoa.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:49 PM
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Um, I did say that what I know is second-hand. God knows I'm not claiming to be an expert. That said, you're really freaking out about a single comment, which is weird, given that your own previous comment allowed that yes, there is in fact discrimination against the Maori in NZ, e.g.:

justifiable grounds for attacking the state of race relations in NZ

the worse economic, educational and healthcare outcomes for Maori

it's only really since the 70's that the kohanga reo movements and such like really got off the ground.

All that said, yes, it's certainly my sense that NZ is light years ahead of the U.S. (for example) in terms of national attitudes towards indigienes. For what it's worth, your weird defensiveness seems like evidence against what you're saying, to me. How hard would it be to say "well, actually..." rather than "you're defaming an entire nation!!!" Gimme a break.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:49 PM
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And the first paragraph of 135 is the ideal example of what I was talking about. That's a very real problem.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:52 PM
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The first paragraph of 135 indicates that all the official stuff is fairly superficial and in some cases possibly counterproductive, which makes it silly to cite it as an example of how any talk of stigmatization must be defamatory. ("Completely ridiculous" is a little overreach. I hereby amend to "considerably ridiculous.")

139: I don't think any Māori would do so either.

On what basis do you not think this?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 3:55 PM
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My point is that stigmatising is not the problem; the things it describes are a real problem. Regional variation of the Māori language is likely to die out, not because it's stigmatised but because a standard form is used so often that it's driving the others out of existence.

No reasonable person would suggest that the Māori culture was "heavily stigmatised"*. It isn't, it is in common use and occurrence and is encountered frequently day-to-day. "It" faces dangers more through lack of stigmatism than anything else. That's a challenging problem to deal with. (much academic wonkery snipped here).

I'm not going to defend the "defame an entire nation" part.

* Subjunctive was, not past tense was. It certainly was the case in the past, and there was a quasi-official and shameful policy of stamping out the language altogether in general use for some decades until the 1970s. So with reference to that time, I think it would be a fair description, both in terms of government action and public attitudes.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:28 PM
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You're not the regular drunk, can't-spell Michael that we know and love, are you?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:29 PM
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Perhaps if B gave a concrete example of the kind of stigmatization her friends talked about Keir and Michael could address it specifically.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:36 PM
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As I understand, Maori have a much more central role in NZ life than Native Americans or Native Canadians do, and are much less marginalized. They make up about 15% of the population and as I understand have preserved many of their institutions and customs.

Hugs all around.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:36 PM
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DS, did I ever say that B's friends were making shit up? If I did, then that was an unjustifiable thing to say.

But hell, Ihimaera himself says ``In our own country we are showing that it is possible to resolve issues of blood, race, ancestry and identity.'' (I was set that text in an English exam, by the way, just to show the depths of marginalisation of Maori culture.)

Cotton, Hotere et al take, as a major part of their work, the historical (and continuing) mistreatment of Maori in parts of NZ culture. But not all Pakeha are indicted by their work; This Is A Black Union, Jack has to be understood in the contest of the Tour, and the broad protests by Pakeha. In the 70's, newspapers wouldn't accept ads in Maori, according to Hamish Keith. They couldn't do that now, thanks to legislation passed by a Pakeha Parliament, and supported by a Pakeha electorate.

Now, clearly NZ's not perfect. But claiming that white NZ heavily stigmatises Maori culture is an over broad generalisation, and not true anyway. Certainly, in the sphere of language it's laughably false.

LB's certainly right that racism is present in NZ -- I almost got in a fight with an idiot from Wellington College who was shouting racist crap at a team mate of mine this year (not anti-Maori racism, but the same sort of stuff). And those iwi/kiwi billboards the National Party had were scummy. But they lost that election. Don Brash's Mainstream turned out not to have his racebaiting in it.

That's also the source of the weird defensiveness. There are reasons to attack NZ race relations. Stigmatisation of Te Reo isn't one of them, and is totally counter-productive. I also want to avoid the icky boasting about how we treat our natives better than you do.

Maori Ngata Revival culture is the sort of thing that B.'s friends were (probably) talking about, and it's also the sort of thing valued by official culture. Urban Maori culture is a different beast in many ways. It's rap music, not haka, hoodies not poi. And, in point of fact, a lot of the difficulties associated with acceptance of that culture come from frankly racist ideas about The Maori culture.

And yeah, let's be honest, I overreacted. `defame an entire nation' apart from the logical incoherence -- Pakeha are a nation? was over the top.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:41 PM
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No reasonable person would suggest that the Māori culture was "heavily stigmatised"

Kind of a self-sealing proposition, innit?

It doesn't minimize the successes of the Maori revival/protest movement to suggest that stigma remains despite official shifts. Basically, I'm always extremely suspicious to hear people who aren't from a community tranquilly declaiming about how "unreasonable" it would be for someone from that community to say that racism / discrimination / stigma is still a problem of any significance; more often than not this proves a disastrously unfounded opinion formed without significant input from the actual community involved. Maybe my impression is wrong -- after all, I don't know that many Maori directly and the bulk of those I do know are writers and activists -- but it's all sounding uncomfortably familiar to me.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:44 PM
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149 before I saw 148. Anyway, I have to run now... have a good weekend all.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:47 PM
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145: I don't think so, no.

I will also clarify that I'm speaking of the abstract "public" here; there are certainly individuals within that public who would very much like Māori culture to be stigmatised (better yet, non-existent), and some downright racist political campaigning, and so forth. "Heavily stigmatised" implies something more general and public, which isn't accurate. Powhiri ["welcome ceremonies"] are very common in public or business situations, for example. You can argue that they're a misappropriation of the idea (with a little justification, but not much), but they tend strictly to follow the form and function of traditional ceremonies, exactly as you'd experience on a marae or elsewhere.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:49 PM
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I didn't say racism and discrimination weren't of any significance, I said that heavy stigmatising of culture was not an accurate description of reality. Racism and discrimination are still of significance, and I also don't think you'd find many people to dispute that either.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:52 PM
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145: I don't think so, no.

Perhaps some disambiguation is in order.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 4:52 PM
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it is in common use and occurrence and is encountered frequently day-to-day

That doesn't in any way mean that something isn't stigmatized, you know. People say "ain't" all the time; nonetheless, doing so is stigmatized.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 5:36 PM
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That's a poor comparison. Especially given the elaborations from my #151; it is frequently encountered in Pakeha-dominated circumstances as well as Māori. "Heavily stigmatized" just isn't an accurate description, no matter how you slice it.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 6:24 PM
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I agree with one-fifty-three.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 6:30 PM
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Maori is frequently used in very high-register settings, unlike `ain't'', as well as quite low-register settings, like ``ain't''.

Universities don't put ``ain't'' on letterheads. They do put Maori there.

That suggests there's a bit of difference between the two.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 6:34 PM
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And on passports! Maori's on the NZ passports!

That is the extent of my knowledge of NZ, except that discussions with a friend (who own the passports) suggest that there's really nothing directly analogous in American culture.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 6:42 PM
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Just popping in to point out that, whatever we decide to do with the phrase "heavily stigmatized," it was a reference originally to culture, not just language.

I don't see any problem with an omnipresent culture being stigmatized either. Canada is somewhere between the US and NZ on the spectrum of progressiveness of mainstream/aboriginal relations and there's plenty of positive attention given to First Nations cultures through official channels here, but Natives are still the targets of perhaps the most socially-acceptable and pervasive racism in the country on a daily basis.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 01-11-08 7:47 PM
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