Re: Have I made a mockery of a culture, like Choco-Taco?

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Your bad spelling hurts me too, heebie.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:13 AM
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"perpetrating"? I looked it up!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:15 AM
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Oh, "desperately"?

Why don't you tell me the number of misspelled words, and we can play Hot Or Cold until I find them all?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:17 AM
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"Privilige".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:17 AM
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Oh, ha. At least I took the "d" out of my first attempt, "privilidge".

You know, I actually think of myself as a good speller.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:19 AM
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I always found "white guilt" completely incomprehensible. All mass civilizations ever have been vicious and oppressive, victimhood confers no moral superiority whatsoever, etc. Actually, I've never really believed in "moral superiority" either as I think truly moral people tend not to feel superior to others.

Of course, it might be that I'm Jewish and was brought up on tales of very recent oppression. Then I got to see Israel provide living proof that historical victimization does not guarantee moral superiority.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:21 AM
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Is there a consensus on the grammatical category of the word "swipple"?

Is it a noun ("He's such a swipple") or an adjective ("She's so swipple")?

And does it apply to the white people, or the things they like?


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:21 AM
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One thing that's going on (and while I think it's silly, it's not actually wrongful), is some sort of weird desire to demonstrate non-racism by claiming to flunk the one-drop test. Kind of similarly, I've been in conversations (usually about sunscreen and the necessity thereof) where I'm rattling on about how excruciatingly white I am, and gotten momentarily queasy because it sounds like the way someone would talk if they thought being really really white was something to brag about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:21 AM
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You are to be congradulated on the general accuracy of your spelling, heebie.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:21 AM
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All mass civilizations ever have been vicious and oppressive, victimhood confers no moral superiority whatsoever, etc. Actually, I've never really believed in "moral superiority" either as I think truly moral people tend not to feel superior to others.

Moral superiority isn't a feeling of superiority, and the fact that others have been vicious and oppressive isn't an excuse.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:23 AM
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It's OK, Heebie. Jews aren't white.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:24 AM
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Why does it seem like these are the only two options, if you're aware of a problem that doesn't affect you: feeling guilty or unbridled enthusiasm for change?

Because you are a liberal, and therefore too stupid to choose option number three: point and laugh.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:24 AM
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is some sort of weird desire to demonstrate non-racism by claiming to flunk the one-drop test.

But this is what I mean: desire for a quick short-cut to prove one isn't racist. Because the implications of the long route seem impossible/exhausting/etc.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:25 AM
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It's OK, Heebie. Jews aren't white.

Yeah, exactly - I sort of clung as a teenager as evidence that I wasn't Mainstream White.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:26 AM
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14: But did you cling bitterly?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:27 AM
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More seriously, it's possible to acknowledge privilidge without wallowing in guilt. It's not like straight white guys (such as m'self) are the only people in human history to have royally fucked over other people.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:27 AM
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clung to this as a teenager...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:28 AM
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I think it's a hair more excusable than wanting a quick shortcut. My sense of someone talking about their own Whiteness is that they're probably a neo-Nazi or something -- not that there's anything wrong with talking about being white, but the people who actually do are more likely to be loony racists than anti-racists having a reasonable discussion of issues. So wanting to announce yourself as flunking the one-drop rule isn't so much wanting a complete get-out-of-jail free card on being racist, as it is wanting permission to talk about being white at all without reference to the topic making you sound like a Klansman.

This is silly, and I don't think it's mostly conscious, but it doesn't seem worse than silly to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:30 AM
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My ancestors were driven from Spain in the late 15th century, so, you know, I really feel I understand the suffering of modern-day Muslims.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:31 AM
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Starting out in a gendered culture, we see everything else in dualisms. Or maybe it even precedes gender, as in inside & outside. FIIK.

Native American, North & Black Irish, Amish/Mennonite;no oppressors in my bloodline.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:32 AM
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The rest of 18 I totally agree with.

But this line: I think it's a hair more excusable than wanting a quick shortcut.

I guess I'm trying to say that pent-up guilt gets very fatiguing, and that this may be understandable and sympathetic, even if it misses the point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:33 AM
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The awesomeness of 19 is only mitigated by the certain knowledge that someone, somewhere, has really used that reasoning.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:34 AM
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Do men get fatigued of male guilt

I get fatigued by male guilt. Then I feel guilty for feeling fatigued, when obviously the actual victims of patriarchy have it worse. Then I start feeling fatigued by this second order guilt.

I have yet to make it up to third order fatigue, but a few more unfogged threads should get me there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:36 AM
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Heh. I research my totally-white-bread ancestors, but fortunately my half-Jewishness totally eliminates the impulse Heebie describes.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:37 AM
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OTOH, it occurs to me the white-bread ancestors I'm most interested in are the ones who worked as Chinese interpreters in mid-19th century Shanghai, so maybe there's more going on there than I thought.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:39 AM
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I am completely honkie. What I do is look for bad Puritans, impoverished tanners, and murderous brewers in my lineage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:40 AM
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What point does it miss, Heebie?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:41 AM
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And to lay it all out, I first learned about these people by hearing that one of them came to China as a missionary but quit when he was instructed to burn down temples. This story (which I haven't confirmed, except for him being a missionary at first) was handed down in my family with a vague "we are non-complicit in colonialism" air.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:42 AM
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I really don't ever feel guilty over the sins of groups to which I belong by no choice of my own. But then, I don't much ever feel guilty over actual personal failings/slights, so at least I'm consistent.

Anyhow, I didn't come preloaded with a tendency toward feeling guilty, what with not being raised Catholic. Sadly, I didn't get the work ethic that Protestantism supposedly instills, either. All I got was this tail.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:44 AM
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What point does it miss, Heebie?

That trying to fail the one-drop rule is an understandable response to the fatigue of white guilt, but doesn't actually combat racism meaningfully.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:45 AM
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and the fact that others have been vicious and oppressive isn't an excuse.

You miss my point. That statement would be true for individuals. But to feel *personal* guilt for something that was a result of past social and historical determinism on the mass scale is a category error. Personal moral duty would have to do with how you act today.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:46 AM
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I have on the order of 1/64 Native American ancestry and one X chromosome, so I live guilt-free.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:47 AM
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Some of my best friends are of color, so I don't ever have to feel white guilt again.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:49 AM
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Also, I'm fully loaded up on guilt for stuff I, personally, have done within my own span on earth. I have nothing to spare for stuff dead people did a long time ago.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:50 AM
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But to feel *personal* guilt for something that was a result of past social and historical determinism on the mass scale is a category error.

It's not done and over with. By being white you get white privilege. Feel guilty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:51 AM
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I understand the impulse to want some reason to feel less guilty. Guilt is a natural response, but I'm not sure if it's a helpful one. If you find a lottery ticket in the street that makes you a millionaire, you might feel guilty. But it doesn't make you any less of a millionaire, and the fact that you feel bad about being a millionaire doesn't make the world more equitable.

It would be nice if we could find a way to talk about the notion of "privilege" without inspiring that guilt reaction.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:52 AM
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One of the impulses by trying to claim some non-whiteness is aesthetic, I believe. It's cool to be removed from the dominant culture in some slightly slant way, even though the very marginalized don't get to be cool, so white people are trying to move a little bit closer to the bounds to occupy the region of aesthetic optimality.

One reason I don't like SWPL is that ito me it seems (yet another) exemplar of the genre in which the primary critique of a class of people is aesthetic. "White people" are uncool," complains SWPL. Since I think these aesthetic critiques miss the point of anything important, I roll my eyes at them, especially when my particular aesthetic is the one being critiqued. It doesn't seem any more interesting to me than yelling about the kids with their underwear showing. This is a little hypocritical, though, since there are times I have violent aesthetic reactions to how other people live their lives. I try to recognize the limits of the significance of my reactions, though.


Posted by: Alby | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:53 AM
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I don't feel guilty for being white, but I am keenly aware of white privilege and of disparate impact. I think that's what matters -- having an analysis that lets you see how the world really works, and then making choices based on that.

To take a somewhat trivial example, I'm aware that young black men often get treated with suspicion and disrespect (not only by white people), especially if they're dressed down. So if I, say, worked retail, or were in some other interaction, I'd probably be a little more careful to make sure my behavior was friendly and respectful if a young man came in, and that I wasn't looking at him like he's about to shoplift. I absolutely don't mean this in some Lady Bountiful, I'm doing this kid a favor by bestowing my white approval on him kind of way or any such shit; nor does it mean that I think I've doing something important. It means it pisses me off that I generally get treated well whether my jeans have gigantic holes in them or not, and lots of other people don't, and that that has much greater consequences for them than having an annoying interaction in a store.

On preview, somewhat pwned by 16 & others.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:53 AM
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"one of the impulses behind"


Posted by: Alby | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:53 AM
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38: Why not, Sir Kraab? You could make up little "white approval" stickers and hand them out.

(Since this is a loaded topic -- I am purely joking, and my comment should not be construed to have any subtext.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:55 AM
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One of my nieces has a SS Nazi great-grandfather, who may still be alive. It would be silly for her to feel guilt; she's only met him once, if that, and they couldn't have said a word for language reasons.

Of course, if she'd gotten a hefty inheritance from the guy, there'd be an issue. But his daughter (her grandmother) came to the US with nothing. She was one of the considerable number of Germans who renounced German-ness; I've met a number of them.

Various branches of my family have loot (silverware) that my career military great-uncle plundered in Germany in WWII. I've occasionally taken pride in his anti-Nazi success, but recently I've started asking whether he didn't just appropriate a hoard looted from Jews.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:57 AM
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I suspect the impulse behind 'my great-great grandmother was a Cherokee princess' isn't one borne of solidarity with oppressed classes, but rather one borne out of a desire to be exotic and unique when one's ancestry is a bunch of faceless, pale, poor people with no living heritage.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:57 AM
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swipple

I've started reading Gawker in my spare time at work, and I had half a mind to try to import their new racist term for a white person ("nilla") before I saw that Unfogged had already made its own. I swear I'll never be unfaithful again.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:00 PM
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It's not done and over with. By being white you get white privilege. Feel guilty.

By being descended from whoever I am descended from, I am the recipient of numerous privileges and also disadvantages that I never earned. That's the human condition.

Feeling guilty because some small number of my privileges come from being white is no more justified than feeling smug because some other number come from my ancestors having been thrifty and saved a lot of money. (Not that they did).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:00 PM
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I have nothing to spare for stuff dead people did a long time ago.

The category error PGD describes is when historical consciousness (good) transmutes into undeserved guilt (bad). While no individual white person / American / German / Serb / etc. is responsible for the sins of the fathers, we expect that them to feel a duty to maintain historical consciousness out of respect for the victims of the fathers.

The Right has been somewhat successful at confusing the two, and not everyone on the Left has been scrupulous about maintaining the distinction. The battle lines ended up drawn thusly: the Left thinks that the maintenance of historical consciousness is so important a goal that a little misattribution of blame is a small price to pay, while the Right argues that misattributed blame is so unconscionably bad that it must be avoided even at the cost of muddying historical consciousness. The fuzzy liberals sit in the middle, advocating a solution ("no collective guilt, but collective responsibility") that places, if we're honest about it, excessive cognitive demands on the average person.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:00 PM
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That is, it seems that it comes from a different place from white guilt land. It's not the same as 'I have a black friend' or 'One time I got off on the train at the wrong stop in a bad neighborhood, and I understood what it was like to be a minority.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:01 PM
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Do men get fatigued of male guilt

No, because I have a number of distant ancestors who were female, so I sort of feel both sides.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:05 PM
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No, because I have a number of distant ancestors who were female, so I sort of feel both sides.

Also, JRoth was caught hiding in a girl's changing room once, so he knows what it feels like to be a despised minority, prejudged and condemned on the basis of his gender alone.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:07 PM
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MC Paul Barman! I get that song in my head about once a week.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:09 PM
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38: I don't feel guilty for being white, but I am keenly aware of white privilege and of disparate impact. I think that's what matters -- having an analysis that lets you see how the world really works, and then making choices based on that.

Sir Kraab makes an important point: at the very least, white guilt (or male guilt, or female guilt, for that matter) should lead to choices in one's own behavior that bear the relevant disparities in mind. This sounds so obvious as to be meaningless, but with respect to, say, male guilt, one would hope that those males who experience it try also not to go around publicly salivating over hot young chicks (for example).

Also. The point made a couple of times upthread about the aesthetic nature of a wish for nonwhite blood seems right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:12 PM
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one would hope that those males who experience it try also not to go around publicly salivating over hot young chicks

I know I can't be the only one who struggles with this.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:14 PM
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49: The one that I get in my head CONSTANTLY is the whole
"...I'll disrobe Lisa Loeb. I want a smelly slice of Kelly Price. I'd
get with the hairy scar of Teri Garr..." bit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:14 PM
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42 gets it exactly right.

The Cherokee princess thing far antedates the concept of white guilt.

It's possible - probable, even, that its modern variants are white guilt-related, but I think it's second order - the primary virtue is being different. If that difference also gives you an extra card during white guilt discussions, so much the better.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:15 PM
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49: Cynthia Ozick took off her clothes quick!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:17 PM
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I think that being a woman helps deter race and class guilt because I'm on the "victim" side of sexism. I don't hold all men responsible for creating the patriarchy. I do hold them responsible for recognizing and opposing it, which can take many, many forms. I don't want rob to feel guilty. He's a damn good feminist. And he's sometimes going to do things that are sexist or take advantage of male privilege or miss an opportunity to combat it, because we're all walking through a minefield and because we can't expend all of our energy trying to tear down the shitty structures we've inherited. We can be allies and make the important choices as thoughtfully as possible, and we can leave guilt for the bastards who do their damnedest to make it all worse.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:17 PM
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'One time I got off on the train at the wrong stop in a bad neighborhood, and I understood what it was like to be a minority.'

Wow, Cala, what was that like? Sounds discomfiting.*

On an unrelated note: Cala, did your sister ever get a bike? The Unbiketariat wants to know!

* Just a joke; I understand what Cala was saying


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:18 PM
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By being white you get white privilege.

So? Being born rich gets one wealth privilege. Being born intelligent gets one intelligence privilege. Being born attractive gets one pretty-people privilege. Et cetera.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:18 PM
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OT, but it looks like I'm going to be in NYC for work with a fair amount of free time the night of August 20th. I can't do anything that lasts too late (need to be bright and shiny in the a.m.), but any interest in a meetup?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:18 PM
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I know I can't be the only one who struggles with this.

I figure as long as you keep the salivation private, or throw in a "man, she's pretty cute. too bad she's thirteen," you're in the clear.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:19 PM
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Winona Ryder? Going inside her!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:19 PM
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So? Being born rich gets one wealth privilege. Being born intelligent gets one intelligence privilege. Being born attractive gets one pretty-people privilege. Et cetera.

You don't have any discomfort about all this? Imagine being as beautiful as me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:20 PM
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we can leave guilt for the bastards who do their damnedest to make it all worse

Does anyone expect them to feel much of it, though? One of the worst aspects of this kind of guilt is that it tends to torment the wrong people.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:22 PM
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to say nothing of the "always-right" privilege.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:22 PM
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You don't have any discomfort about all this?

Nope. And it wouldn't change anything if I did.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:23 PM
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I wish I had nonwhite blood on my hands.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:23 PM
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59: water moccasin, I am so proud of you!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:23 PM
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I don't want rob to feel guilty.

But its one of the few things I'm good at.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:24 PM
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Further to 66: That wasn't meant to sound patronizing. You made me smile.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:24 PM
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62: Similarly, I've mostly abandoned the whole "You better study hard and study early or else you're going to FAIL" threat-speeches, because the sweet kids in the front row who were already going to study plenty just look more and more terrified, and the kids who I'm aiming for just tune me out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:24 PM
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Part of my gripe with the whole white guilt concept - and I agree with what seems to be the consensus, that "guilt" is a poor placeholder for "awareness" - is that actions then get ascribed to white guilt. I'm not fond of pop psych explanations for behavior anyway, but this is an especially sneery one.

This, in turn, ties to part of my SWPL dislike - either the guy is sneering at white guilt, which is condescending and shitty, or he's suffering from it, which is lame and preening.

FWIW, count me with apo as a non-guilt-feeler in my personal life; if I don't feel guilt over certain shitty things I've done, then I'm clearly not going to feel it over shitty things I've never done. But I am well aware of white/male privileges, and try to incorporate that awareness in my actions.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:24 PM
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52, 54: I think "I'm sticking taxing long things in Maxine Hong Kingston" may be my favorite.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:25 PM
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I wish I had nonwhite blood on my hands.

Blood is red.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:25 PM
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I don't feel white guilt, per se, but I do feel guilt for falling short on the responsibilities Sir Kraab notes in 55 to recognize and oppose white/middle class privilege.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:25 PM
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65 is so very, very wrong.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:26 PM
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No, wait, make that "My dream: nonwhite blood in my veins, white blood on my hands."

I sort of wonder what Roswell Rudd was thinking when the Amiri Baraka recited "Black Dada Nihilismus" on the New York Art Quartet album. Maybe something like: "dude, I'm right here"?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:26 PM
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My ancestors were driven from Spain in the late 15th century,

Spooky. I was driven from Spain in late 1995.


Posted by: John F. Kennedy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:27 PM
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Anyhow, I didn't come preloaded with a tendency toward feeling guilty

So...no guilt. We've seen enough pictures to know you have no shame. There are no societal bonds of restriction on you at all, are there? It's a wonder that you're not a serial killer. Assuming, I mean, that you're not.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:31 PM
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Il m'est bien évident que j'ai toujours été race inférieure.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:31 PM
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I figure as long as you keep the salivation private, or throw in a "man, she's pretty cute. too bad she's thirteen," you're in the clear.

I was at a game once where the halftime entertainment was some kind of middle-school all-star area girls team, which consisted of something like 50 6th to 8th grade girls dressed up in extremely revealing costumes.

I have no idea why they would do that, but it was an extremely bad idea. Depending on whether puberty had hit, they looked either 5 years old or 17 years old, and you had no idea of the true age of the girl you were looking at. It really was weirdly disturbing. had to leave until they were done.

This, in turn, ties to part of my SWPL dislike - either the guy is sneering at white guilt, which is condescending and shitty, or he's suffering from it, which is lame and preening.

My take on the site was that it was an affectionate take on the folkways of his tribe, who should get the benefit of quasi-anthropological distance like any other group. It was sort of post-political; white was not charged in the "guilt/privilege" way. But maybe that was just me, don't want to reopen the endless argument.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:31 PM
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There are no societal bonds of restriction on you at all, are there?

I have an aversion to physical labor, imprisonment, and getting my ass stomped, so I work to avoid those outcomes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:32 PM
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Probably Roswell was thinking "What the fuck you gonna do, Amiri? Knock my teeth out?"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:33 PM
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"Why does it seem like these are the only two options, if you're aware of a problem that doesn't affect you: feeling guilty or unbridled enthusiasm for change? ..."

So you are never indifferent or apathetic? That's my normal reaction often even to problems that do affect me.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:33 PM
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80: D'eux, j'ai : l'idolâtrie et l'amour du sacrilège ; -- oh ! tous les vices, colère, luxure, -- magnifique, la luxure ; -- surtout mensonge et paresse.
J'ai horreur de tous les métiers. Maîtres et ouvriers, tous paysans, ignobles.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:34 PM
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Madeleine Albright's straddlin' me all night


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:34 PM
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Nope. And it wouldn't change anything if I did.

I don't feel bad about any of my inherited privileges either.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:34 PM
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You know what we haven't had enough of lately? SWPL threads.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:35 PM
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"middle-school all-star area girls *dance* team"

I have this penchant for leaving out words.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:35 PM
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61: I'm sure it *is* hard to be as beautiful as you are, heebs, but you don't leave it at that. You work hard to understand how destructive is a culture obsessed with looks, and you work hard to combat it. That's a different way of dealing with privilege than pointing and laughing at all the ugly people.

You have heterosexual privilege, which bestows enormous benefits, material and otherwise. You can sit around and feel guilty, or you could vote against homophobes and you could sponsor the LGBT student group in a very conservative place where they could really use some support. Oh, right. You do that.

The world is what it is, a terrible and unjust place divided into the lucky and the left-out*. Spread some of your luck around, make room for those left out, and try not to push anyone else out. That's what you can do.

*Courtesy of Mario Cuomo.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:35 PM
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On the whole, I endorse the kind of cultural creolization metaphorically represented here by the choco-taco, even going so far as to wish that Paul Berman had chosen to rap about their chocolately goodness instead of MC Barman.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:36 PM
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82: Our own Beckett character.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:36 PM
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This is tangentially related to a much larger concept that I've been thinking about lately: the questions of "How much should one feel obligated to work to solve problems for which one isn't responsible? / How does one balance abstraction vs personal experience when coming to an awareness of problems?"

The two are related questions and, of course, not original to me.

I wouldn't say that I don't feel guilt, I certainly do, but my general response is to try to behave well in my personal interactions rather than trying to actively solve larger social problems.

It's the Categorical Imperative as an excuse for apathy -- if everyone just behaved humanely and with kindness towards the people they interact with directly, the world would be a much better place. True, but that's also not enough.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:36 PM
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The world is what it is, a terrible and unjust place divided into the lucky and the left-out. Spread some of your luck around, make room for those left out, and try not to push anyone else out. That's what you can do.

Amen.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:38 PM
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88 *"Those born to pay full price". Courtesy Knecht, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:38 PM
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80, 83: who are you quoting? It feels familiar. I'm secure that I wouldn't feel superior to even the worst racist stereotypes.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:38 PM
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an affectionate take on the folkways of his tribe

And that part's fine, but:

white was not charged in the "guilt/privilege" way

I, personally, don't think is the right characterization. For me, a lot of his approach (to certain topics) was colored by the concept of white guilt - whether as an accusation or an admission, I don't like it.

Anyway. As you say, let's not make this SWPL XVII.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:39 PM
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52, 54, 60,71, and 84 are presumably included here to illustrate one of the more pernicious sides of male privilege...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:40 PM
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I meant, 78 and 83 -- directed to Emerson.

SWPL XVII -- TO THE DEATH!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:40 PM
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I have no idea why they would do that, but it was an extremely bad idea. Depending on whether puberty had hit, they looked either 5 years old or 17 years old, and you had no idea of the true age of the girl you were looking at. It really was weirdly disturbing. had to leave until they were done.

Wow. Hooray for accelerated puberty and delayed maturity, or something.

I figure it's like being late all the time - saying I'm sorry when I clearly wasn't sorry enough to be on time is tacky and ultimately counterproductive. Better to try harder to be on time and not beat myself up when I'm late.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:42 PM
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My Mexican American cousin in law, the beloved grandnephew's dad, was talking about some of these issues last night. He's been a foreman of all-Mexican work crews, and on the one hand he encounters gross racism, and on the other he's had workers who seemed to want to invite it with acting-out behavior.

This guy looks totally Mexican, except that he's tall, and is a bit rough-looking. If you talk to him awhile he seems a bit too texan, and he's an enormous John Wayne fan.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:42 PM
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52, 54, 60,71, and 84 are presumably included here to illustrate one of the more pernicious sides of male privilege...

I was wondering about that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:42 PM
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I have an aversion to physical labor, imprisonment, and getting my ass stomped, so I work to avoid those outcomes.

I have both the guilt and shame modules, and I sometimes seem to have the pro versions of both. As a general rule, though, the people I've met who have been most healthy or trustworthy in their decency are people like you: not much motivated by either. It can be genuinely maddening. I sometimes wonder if moralistic pricks aren't pricks because they too find it maddening.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:43 PM
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88: *fanning myself*. Oh, do stop. OKAY GO ON!

All kidding aside, I hear what you're saying.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:43 PM
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97: Rimbaud, Une Saison en Enfer, a basic beatnik text.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:44 PM
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Don't lord your beatnik privilege over me, Emerson.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:45 PM
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Beckett character, yeah, but I also read 82 as confessing to exactly the sort of feeling Heebie was concerned would follow from "guilt fatigue," if I didn't read too much into the original post.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:46 PM
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Being born intelligent gets one intelligence privilege.

I think it's high time that the less fortunate among us reclaim and subvert the derogatory language that has been used to marginalize us for so long. We're here, we're morons, get used to it!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:48 PM
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I'm not as blissfully serene as apostropher seems to be about having privilege. I do feel discomfort sometimes, knowing I'm being rewarded for when and where and to whom I was born, and whatever DNA cocktail became me.

And I certainly don't live guilt-free. On the contrary, I feel guilty and ashamed many of my waking hours, but that's for things I have or haven't done. More therapy!!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:51 PM
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52, 54, 60,71, and 84 are presumably included here to

Illustrate incredibly clever rhymes by Paul Barman?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 12:58 PM
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NickS: Do you remember Kant's distinction between perfect and imperfect duties. The stuff you are doing is only the perfect duty version of the categorical imperative. You also have an imperfect duty to help save the world, which means you get to choose the time and manner you contribute.

Also, according to Kant and probably your mother, you need to be cultivating yourself more.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:00 PM
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white people desperately long to find the genetic pie slice that makes them not-quite-white

I'd probably be tempted to do this if I had a chance in hell of finding one. Instead, I've got pure-bred English on one side and half-English, half-German on the other, so I just acknowledge that I'm 100% oppressor and then kinda kick at the ground sullenly.

Being born with privileges is something that can make one feel pretty guilty, then powerless to do anything about inborn privilege, and then maybe kinda gassy because you went to eat trashy fried food while sorting out your other issues. Aside from generosity and trying to vote away one's privilege at every (rare) chance one gets, that's about as productive as the guilt ever seems to get.

But damn was that a tasty lunch.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:00 PM
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One last thing before I go back to that job I'm lucky enough to have: Obviously, it's quite possible to twist all of this into an excuse to abuse whatever privileges one does have and to shirk responsibility, which is when we should all be holding each other accountable.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:05 PM
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Illustrate incredibly clever rhymes by Paul Barman?/i>

I got that, but they were an off juxtaposition with 50. It reflects the nature of unfogged -- a combination of analysis of the world combined with living in it as it is.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:10 PM
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Illustrate incredibly clever offensive rhymes by Paul Barman?

I certainly wouldn't fee comfortable reading a "clever" rhyme like that referring to me. The nonchalance with which crudely sexual things can be said about women's bodies is, in fact, among the many obnoxious elements of male privilege. It is, in fact, gross.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:11 PM
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NickS: Do you remember Kant's distinction between perfect and imperfect duties. The stuff you are doing is only the perfect duty version of the categorical imperative. You also have an imperfect duty to help save the world, which means you get to choose the time and manner you contribute.

Yes, but . . . it gets complicated. I don't dispute this, just saying that I recognize in myself a tendency to minimize/defer that duty. And that I'm not sure it's completely wrong.

To give an example, one part of my response to the slogan "If you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention" is to add that it's also true that "If you don't see beauty in the world you aren't paying attention."

One can and should cultivate both outrage at and appreciation for the world, but it's difficult to do both at the same time.

I'm trying to find my previous comment quoting from The Fever for more on the subject.

Also, according to Kant and probably your mother, you need to be cultivating yourself more.

Eh?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:16 PM
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The nonchalance with which crudely sexual things can be said about women's bodies is, in fact, among the many obnoxious elements of male privilege.

It is, and I won't defend it. I just get sufficiently impressed by four-syllable, multi-word rhymes on unlikely names that it overwhelms any sense of outrage I might have.

Of course valuing the aesthetic over the moral is itself a symptom of privilege.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:19 PM
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So when is it appropriate to feel group guilt? Group pride?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:19 PM
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116: Never, and never. The impulse animating the kind of guilt we're talking about here is the guilt over having a completely unearned privilege.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:22 PM
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I'm trying to find my previous comment quoting from The Fever for more on the subject.

Here is the comment I was thinking of. It is in the context of a very different discussion about calling people "good" or "evil" but it describes a dilemma which which I struggle.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:22 PM
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among the many obnoxious elements of male privilege

Nonchalance about crudely sexualizing the bodies of others is not a uniquely male privilege. Nor is it necessarily correlated with the prevalence or oppressiveness of patriarchy, whether in historical or comparative perspective.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:23 PM
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113: A few more things mitigating the Paul Barman glee is that I brought it up in the first place, both by quoting him in the title and by the specifically sexist stuff in 52.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:24 PM
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Since victory in international sports competitions reflects the reified national character and the individual psychic investment of us all, I think we all deserve to pat ourselves on the back whenever a U.S. athlete wins an Olympic medal.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:26 PM
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119: Oh come on, Knecht.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:26 PM
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120: Oh come on, Heebie. "It's not racist because Clarence Thomas said it! And he's black!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:28 PM
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121: Also, whenever one of those smart bombs goes right down the chimney of the target -- high fives all around.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:28 PM
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A few more things mitigating the Paul Barman glee is that I brought it up in the first place, both by quoting him in the title and by the specifically sexist stuff in 52.

Also the fact that Barman himself is clearly not sincere and actually a pretty good leftist.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:32 PM
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Oh come on, Knecht.

Does that form of argument carry a lot of weight in appellate court litigation?

[Sorry, I know that was dickish; I couldn't resist.]


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:32 PM
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79 + whole thread: Sometimes, I doubt this blog's commitment to Sparkle Motion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:35 PM
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119 wasn't meant to be mindlessly contrary. I genuinely believe that sexual depersonalization of the other gender is not a simple function of gender power relations, and it is a mistake to tackle one when your target is the other.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:35 PM
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Does that form of argument carry a lot of weight in appellate court litigation?

Actually, when invoked in response to truly ludicrous argument, it proves remarkably effective. But it does tend to be greatly enhanced with an exasperated sigh and a shared look at the judge that says, "You're not buying this crap, are you?"

Look, i don't know this Barman dude from Adam. But if the plain language of the rhymes doesn't convince you that they reflect a male-privileged way of discussing women's bodies, then no amount of careful literary exegesis will.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:38 PM
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123: Are you calling Heebie the Clarence Thomas of womankind? Because that seems really mean. Plus, she never left a pubic hair on my Coke. She left my Coke on my cubic chair, which is exactly where I asked her to put it. The court record really screwed that one up.

And speaking of this (though not of MC Barman, Christ), another good source of minor privilege-guilt twinges is misogynistic hip-hop! Amazing beat, the cadence of the rapping works fantastically as an extra instrument! And... oh... he's saying she should get down and... well, will he at least reciprocate?... huh, he seems rather proud of not doing so. That's just not nice...

Which is why I have to feature Amanda blank heavily in my rotation. Reverse sexism palette cleanser!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:40 PM
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128: Surely you recognize that, as a consequence of gender power relations, sexual depersonalization is far more damaging to women than to men? I'm also unfamiliar with the genre in which men are subjected to this sort of sexual depersonalization -- except, I guess, when it's guys talking about sodomizing other guys, in which case it is then an obnoxious performance of heterosexual privilege.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:42 PM
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Di, I do think you are absolutely correct, although I've totally got uncomfortable cognitive dissonance now because I enjoy Barman's music so much.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:44 PM
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130: Heh.. "Palette cleanser" is an interesting image following on the particular example invoked...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:44 PM
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The fact is, the world is full of aesthetically admirable and morally abhorrent works of art. Gangsta rap. Triumph of the Will. South Park. The book of Genesis.

Sometimes the delirious feeling you get from being immersed in a radically amoral viewpoint, or moral viewpoint radically far from your own, is itself an exciting aesthetic experience. Homer and Kill Bill both have a kind of Nietzschean "power is nobility" thing going that is both very wrong and their source of beauty.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:45 PM
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132: Sorry about that. And I don't really think you are the female Clarence Thomas. And whatever happened between you and Po Mo in the cubicle with the coke, well, I imagine that's a matter between consenting adults and let's just leave it at that.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:46 PM
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if the plain language of the rhymes doesn't convince you that they reflect a male-privileged way of discussing women's bodies, then no amount of careful literary exegesis will

I don't know Barman from Adam either, and I don't take any particular aesthetic pleasure in his doggerel. But the nonchalance you decry is not, I would contend, a simple function of our outgrowth of male privilege. Expressed differently, male privilege is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for sexualizing the bodies of the other gender in a depersonalized way.

As evidence I offer...
1. the fact that Western society has become more, not less nonchalant about crude sexualization as male privilege has diminished;
2. the most patriarchal societies are among the least nonchalant about crude sexualization;
3. women, from their less privileged position, crudely sexualize males (remember Tiger Beat from middle school), and have done so throughout history, with no particular correlation to their relative endowment of power.

The sex drive exists independently of any individual of the opposite sex, so it should not surprise that people (both men and women) should be capable of sexualizing individuals of the opposite sex in a depersonalized way. That men have often done this with a spoken or unspoken desire to reinforce the subordinate position of particular women is undeniable, but that doesn't make ever instance of sexualization an instrument of or even a symptom of assymetrical power relations.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:49 PM
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133: Minty fresh!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:50 PM
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I dreamt I saw Knecht Ruprecht in my Maidenform bra.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:52 PM
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Also, the judge didn't buy your eye-rolling routine, 'cuz the judges are men, see, and he and I just exchanged that knowing look that guys exchange when a gal starts to lose her temper.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:53 PM
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I dreamt I saw Knecht Ruprecht in my Maidenform bra.

But was it sized correctly?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 1:55 PM
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As evidence I offer...
1. the fact that Western society has become more, not less nonchalant about crude sexualization as male privilege has diminished;
2. the most patriarchal societies are among the least nonchalant about crude sexualization;
3. women, from their less privileged position, crudely sexualize males (remember Tiger Beat from middle school), and have done so throughout history, with no particular correlation to their relative endowment of power.

1. Assumes facts not in evidence. Male privilege has increasingly come under challenge, to be sure. But one might argue that the increasingly nonchalant sexual depersonalization of women is a reaction to that -- a reaction to desires for gender dominance that have been frustrated by equal rights legislation and associated lawsuits by transferring that desire for dominance into the sexual context.

2. I don't know much about the way men in more patriarchal societies talk about women privately. That overt sexual denigration is deprecated in the public sphere is simply a reflection of the fact that, in those societies, women are treated as the property of their husbands or fathers.

3. Really? Tiger Beat? "Madeleine Albright can straddle me all night" is the equivalent in your mind to "Scott Baio has the dreamiest eyes. He loves to play sports and just have fun with his adorable pet puppies..."?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:00 PM
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People, can't we all get along? Unlike the homogeneous clones, Paul's into birth stones, earth tones, and erogenous zones!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:05 PM
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Hey, so what about that Friday afternoon puzzle? Or Botticelli? Or sundae-eating contest?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:06 PM
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Yeah, seriously, Di is right on in all three points of 141.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:06 PM
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I do think you are absolutely correct

The analysis of the lyrics is absolutely correct: they're crude, sexist, etc. But if you're unfamiliar with Barman, you may not know that the humor of his shtick is supposed to lie in the incongruity of vulgar lyrics next to hyper-verbal nerd palindromes performed by a weedy Jewish guy. You can find that funny or not--I don't think Barman's that funny--and I suppose you can argue that even performing the lyrics as mockery reinforces hurtful norms, but there is a difference, rhetorically, and a difference in intent, between vulgar (self-)mocking humor and vulgar displays of choco-macho dominance.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:06 PM
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Also, he keeps his hair tied up in a napkin ring.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:08 PM
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Sundae eating contest!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:09 PM
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But one might argue that the increasingly nonchalant sexual depersonalization of women is a reaction to that -- a reaction to desires for gender dominance that have been frustrated by equal rights legislation and associated lawsuits by transferring that desire for dominance into the sexual context

You could make that argument, but I think you would have a hard time establishing Granger causality in the data for your hypothesized mechanism. Take France: very early on nonchalance, relatively late on dismantling male privilege. Or Denmark (the reverse), or Germany (swung back and forth on both), Mexico (privilege eroding faster than nonchalance is growing), or Italy (nonchalance at world class levels, privilege mostly untouched).

One could just as plausibly argue that the patriarchy has deviously tricked women into doing its dirty work, by viewing depersonalized sexual longing as a threat they need to be protected from, which backs them right into the patriarchal cage that confines them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:11 PM
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I don't know Barman from Adam either

Oh, boy, you guys are going to love Peaches.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:11 PM
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I second the sundae-eating contest. If Di wants the last word she can have it, otherwise, bring on the frozen dairy products.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:13 PM
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Granger causality is the last refuge of scoundrels.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:14 PM
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147: You and I can have one, Di. Not like I'm getting any work done this afternoon anyway. Plus, you'll have a headstart since I'm still feeling kinda fullish. My life's not going to get any healthier when our office moves closer to the Popeye's at Lake and Dearborn in the fall.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:14 PM
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You could make that argument, but I think you would have a hard time establishing Granger causality in the data for your hypothesized mechanism. Take France: very early on nonchalance, relatively late on dismantling male privilege. Or Denmark (the reverse), or Germany (swung back and forth on both), Mexico (privilege eroding faster than nonchalance is growing), or Italy (nonchalance at world class levels, privilege mostly untouched).

Explain exactly what you mean by "dismantling male privilege."

One could just as plausibly argue that the patriarchy has deviously tricked women into doing its dirty work, by viewing depersonalized sexual longing as a threat they need to be protected from, which backs them right into the patriarchal cage that confines them.

I'm sorry, what? I honestly cannot for the life of me parse what you are trying to say here.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:17 PM
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Also, I'm reminded of the old (gosh, was it really '94?) Princess Superstar song, "Mitch Better Get My Bunny."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:18 PM
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153 posted before I saw 150. Fuck it, comment withdrawn. Bring on the hot fudge and whipped topping!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:18 PM
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Hey, so what about that Friday afternoon puzzle?

Actually, I almost called this thread "Friday puzzler!" to be cute.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:19 PM
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It would have been cuter if it was "Pieday fruzzler!"

since you mention pie in the post. You probably would have had to make the post more pie-centric.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:29 PM
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156: Or you could have called it "Friday Cute!" to be puzzling.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:31 PM
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I'd better get what now?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:32 PM
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The line in 141 about Scott Baio's puppies almost made me spit up my coke.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:32 PM
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Oh wait, I thought you said "Match Better Get My Bunny" and were thus referring to me.

Nevermind.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:34 PM
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One could just as plausibly argue that the patriarchy has deviously tricked women into doing its dirty work, by viewing depersonalized sexual longing as a threat they need to be protected from, which backs them right into the patriarchal cage that confines them.

I read this as "if women are persuaded that objectification is bad, then they are really TOOLS OF THE PATRIARCHY. Mwahahahaha."

But that's just me.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:35 PM
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152: Is there anywhere good for a sundae in the Loop? Because I really am quite suggestible and now I really do want ice cream.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:39 PM
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160: I agree. Scott Baio is disgusting.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:42 PM
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I don't know Barman from Adam either

MC Paul Barman.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:45 PM
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163: Answering my own question! There's a place that sells gelato! Right on the way to my train! If I leave early enough, I can grab one on the way!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:45 PM
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If it's made with gelato, then technically it's a "domenicae".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:48 PM
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I read this as "if women are persuaded that objectification is bad, then they are really TOOLS OF THE PATRIARCHY. Mwahahahaha."

"Objectification" is such a harsh word. I prefer to think of it as "appreciation" or even "admiration".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:50 PM
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If gelato is made with gelato, it's a "domenicæ"?

Does that mean gelato never really exists?


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:50 PM
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168: Of course you do. And see, because you enjoy male privilege, you can!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:51 PM
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163, 166: Snap! Where?

I was actually looking up ice cream places around here just after writing 152, and found nothing except a few Baskins-Robbins. And even those are pretty sorry souls, stripped down to but a few tubs of ice cream, mocked to madness by the "31 Flavors!" claim of their logo.

There used to be a Ben & Jerry's around State and Randolph, a trek I'd totally make right now, but it's been replaced by an Argo Tea or Garrett's Popcorn or some bullshit.

Now I need to get to Margie's Candies and drink one of their boats of real hot fudge.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:52 PM
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And see, because you enjoy male privilege, you can!

Dammit, now I feel guilty! This is exactly the kind of thing everyone was counseling me to avoid.

Would it help even things out if I gave you gals permission to objectify me?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:53 PM
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169: No you fuckwitbig silly, if a sundae is made with gelato . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:55 PM
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171: Ooo! Or Oberweis!

If only I had a reason to go near Milwaukee and Division.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:56 PM
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171: Rom. there's one at Franklin and Monroe, which I sometimes take advantage of for morning coffee, but am always running too late to swing past for afternoon gelato.

Now that you mention it, there's a BR/Dunkin Donuts just up the street from me. Eh. I'm going to Rom.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:57 PM
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I've always pictured Knecht as a table-like object myself. Or maybe one of those big hefty metal tape dispensers of yore, the kind you'd see on Sam Spade's desk.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:57 PM
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Instant Chicago Loop ice-cream meetup! Let's do this!


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 2:59 PM
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173: I actually thought you were being serious, like the people with all the "aioli must have garlic in it, but not have the word garlic associated with it" nonsense.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:02 PM
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175: Huh. Yeah, and I'd forgotten that the Lavazza coffee shops have gelato or ice cream.

Oh well, I'll leave and get fatty ice cream up north, once I can get outta this office (I think my boss will come on by to request/demand happy hour attendance in about 30 min).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:04 PM
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Enough with the ice cream talk, people, let's all get down to objectifying Ruprecht.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:09 PM
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98 reminds me of a friend's standard response to all apologies: "Don't be sorry; be careful"

I do love the guiltier than thou game. Eventually you get so involved in figuring out what to feel guilty for that you run out of time to actually do good things in the world. Everyone wins.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:12 PM
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Especially when one is feeling guilty about eating ice cream.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:13 PM
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I've always pictured Knecht as a table-like object myself. Or maybe one of those big hefty metal tape dispensers of yore

M/tch...sniff...are you saying that the magical night we spent together meant nothing to you?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:14 PM
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Choco Taco is a kind of ice cream. You don't even have to eat it to feel guilty, you can just let the words roll around in your head, like a guilt-mantra.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:14 PM
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180: let's all get down to Objectifying Ruprecht

Good by me as long as Objectifying Ruprecht is apoesque rather than wolsonian.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:16 PM
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185: wolsonian

Purposefully misspelled in honor of Heebie.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:18 PM
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And heebie's 69 is dead on. Attempting to inspire guilt in others always hits the wrong targets.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:18 PM
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183: Let this be an object lesson for you, Knecht.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:18 PM
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187: Ahem.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:19 PM
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185: In fact, Objectification is one of the primary tenets of the Apostropharian Creed.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:20 PM
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Let this be an object lesson for you, Knecht.

I'm so hurt, it's hard for me to think objectively right now.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:23 PM
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One of Objectifying Ruprecht's biggest hits.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:25 PM
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I just skimmed the thread, but I now understand that ice cream is a tool of the patriarchy. I can still enjoy hookers and blow guilt-free, though, right?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:28 PM
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Well you certainly didn't raise any objections on the night in question, KR.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:29 PM
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If you're going to objectify Knecht Ruprecht, your objectification must rhyme.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:31 PM
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When I become the first person to commit suicide by stand-mixer-assisted strangulation, I hope the guilt plagues you for the rest of your miserable life, M/tch M/ills.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:41 PM
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I can still enjoy hookers and blow guilt-free, though, right?

Only if they're Robust's two cats. Otherwise, it has to be with male hookers of every major race, and you should try to spend your time equally with each one.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:41 PM
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male hookers of every major race

Sure, support the oppression of cardinality.


Posted by: minor race | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:44 PM
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male hookers of every major race

genderist.


Posted by: Tran S. Gender | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:45 PM
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I just skimmed the thread, but I now understand that ice cream is a tool of the patriarchy. I can still enjoy hookers and blow guilt-free, though, right?

Only if you cleanse your palette with gelato. Which, stupid work, I'm not sure I'm going to have time for if I still want to catch my train. I blame the patriarchy!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:47 PM
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198, 199: Hmm... Apparently, no, you can't enjoy hooker guilt-free. Unless you first take a random sample of humanity, pay each of them a fair compensation for their hookertarial duties*, then spend equal time and effort with each.

Blow, of course, is always guilt-free.

* Assemble a bipartisan overview panel of experts for this step to review the compensation process and amounts. No fair stacking it with libertarians.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:50 PM
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Blow, of course, is always guilt-free.

But, but, but, it's white. I think you need to give equal time to drugs of color.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 3:59 PM
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202: Everyone knows white people like organic brown heroin as part of their balanced drug diet. It's healthier.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:06 PM
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202: Peruvian flake, my man. The Twinkie of blow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:26 PM
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I get confused about what is privilege, and what's lack of detriment. My wife has to pee (we're stuck in traffic in the sixth hour of a four hour drive). Do I have the privilege of not having to pee? Or is it luck? Guilt in this context is silly.



Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:50 PM
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What it is, is (not having read the thread): a combo of guilt and, as one of my (Italian) students once said, a sense that everyone else *has* something that we (white people) don't have--ethnicity, which seems kind of fun (parades! injokes! extended families! special holidays! a sense of specialness!), and the ability to be *proud* of one's ethnicity.

Which is of course silly, because white people do have those things. White ethnicities can be religious (Catholic, Jewish) or regional (surfer dude, Brooklynite, southerner) or, of course, ethnic (German, Swedish, Anglo-Irish).

I highly recommend the Anti-Bias Curriculum Handbook,, btw, which talks about teaching diversity to kisd by asking *all* of them to talk about their own *family* traditions. Even in "non-diverse" classrooms, that lets people realize that they *do* have ethnic/family traditions: we celebrate Xmas on Xmas eve, and put candles on the tree (b/c T's family is German); I ate borscht and pickled tongue at New Year's growing up, because my mom's family is German; I ate tamales at Xmas, because my dad's dad's family is Mexican. Etc.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:51 PM
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205 is mine. Not that I should admit it.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:52 PM
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205: Not so fast. Next up: pee guilt.

But no, actually, this is why people talk about *institutionalized* discrimination. Now if public buildings had half as many women's bathrooms as men's, you're damn right you should have pee guilt.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:58 PM
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Big bladders are totally a privilege. As is good eyesight and good looks. And the ability to make your tongue into a taco.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:59 PM
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Privilege is being able to comment while driving.

P.S. I am 100% white. All of my ethnic brothers and sisters in this thread, it's all my fault. Lay it on me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 4:59 PM
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I just came into this thread and am glad we covered the Jewish angle. I always wanted to be Jewish. I've got this last name, see...


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:02 PM
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I can't make my tongue into a taco. Finally a reason to identify with the oppressed.

I'm also enjoying the privilege of being a native speaker of English:

Mrs.: What water is that?
Napi: Hampton Roads.
MRS.: No, the water. Is that the Bay?
Son of Napi: No, it's Hampton Roads.
Napi: Roads. Hampton Roads.
Mrs.: It's water. And I have to pee.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:08 PM
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I always have to pee when I think of roads.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:10 PM
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My tongue tacoes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:10 PM
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My tongue doesn't taco either, Napi. It used to bother me, once ....


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:12 PM
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Can something genetically determined really be called a privilege? To taco one's tongue: this is a birthright.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:12 PM
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214: And aren't you one of the Scarsdale Weissbaers? Oppressor.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:13 PM
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One of the weird, hilarious things Garrison Keillor did was make Wobegonians ethnic. We used to be just the most generic, blandest honkies, without the Yoknapatawpha nastiness or the Yankee Puritan Founding Fathers mystique.

I wish he and the Coens had been around when I was young. I could have footnoted my background as Wobegon + Fargo.

Incidentally, spellcheck recognizes Yoknapatawpha, and I got it right the first time. But it does not recognize spellcheck.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:14 PM
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OK, time for me to take the wheel. See y'all later. I may have a report on the Wild Monkey Diner.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:15 PM
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Did anyone else see the Bismarck episode of Antiques Roadshow? It was on Tuesday or Monday night around here. Person after person with an accent that sounded more like a Scandinavian immigrant than any American I'd ever heard, and all of them were at least three generations removed from the old country.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:16 PM
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206:We always went down to the Chinese Restaurant on Xmas, where I would trade my lump of coal for a cup of noodles.

Which reminds me, I just read someone write "metaphorical allusion" and it bothered me. Are all allusions metaphorical? Spose not.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:17 PM
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which talks about teaching diversity to kisd by asking *all* of them to talk about their own *family* traditions.

While I'm in general agreement with the rest of your comment, this has to be done well and it's really hard in homogeneous districts. In my whitest of the white school districts growing up, they always did this, and every year it was pretty stupid. 90% of the classroom had the ethnicity of Generic American Consumer. Nothing as exotic as live candles on a tree or tamales. 'Diversity' meant 'I think Krista is in the Tamburitzans because her great-grandparents are from somewhere.' or 'Isn't Joe's Mom Jewish?' Most everyone was Suburban Christian, and the district was small enough that chances are you were seeing your classmates on Christmas Eve already.

And god help the handful of kids who were visible minorities, because they were going to be the centerpiece of every discussion.

In retrospect, the curriculum probably would have worked well in an area that wasn't as ethnically homogenous, but I think we probably could have used better diversity education because as it was structured, it rang hollow. It's obvious that there were ethnic traditions around, e.g., New Year's, but they were very much abstracted. I have no idea why my family eats sauerkraut and pork on New Year's, but I'd be willing to bet that it isn't based on my ancestry.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:19 PM
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217: No, but my real last name is, in its origin, very Jewish. When I moved to New York, all these people met me and asked, "So... are you?" and I had no idea what they meant. Then my German friend informed me that everyone with (the origin) of my name is Jewish, and I met several Jewish people with (the origin) of my last name, and my lifelong, very quintessentially evangelical desire to get Jewish cred overcame me. I studied ancient Hebrew, started reading Talmud, etc. But to no avail. At least five or six of my boyfriends have had one Jewish parent. And I'm basically a Western European (and slightly American Indian) genetic amalgamation. Jewish was bound to get in there somewhere.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:20 PM
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My tongue tacoes, and I can vibrate it at an amazing speed, even when outside my lips. I mean buzzsaw speed. Not at the same time it's rolled.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:20 PM
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206 is good advice. I've written some small pieces on the traditions of Southern Christmas. My family is horrified to discover that my new traditions involve getting Chinese food on Christmas Eve with gay people.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:22 PM
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When I was in 6th grade we did this diversity exercise where all the kids had to draw one of the flags of the nations their ancestors lived in. Desperate to avoid drawing the union jack, like a small plurality of the kids in the class, I scoured the Encyclopedia Britannica for a Scottish flag. No dice, dad said. Not a country, exactly. Desperate, I latched on a conjecture about a surname's origins, a conjecture about events dating back to the Battle of Hastings, if not before, and drew a French tricolor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:24 PM
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225: so, so jewish.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:24 PM
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I've been puzzling over Heebie's reference to people wanting to find that drop of non-white blood, since I've certainly noticed the phenomenon, but never felt it myself. Perhaps just me; but I think it may be a function of the fact that I'm adopted. I know nothing about my bloodlines except what shows in my face, or body: white. Speculating about, or investigating, or fantasizing about my ancestry in search of non-white blood? An alien concept.

B.'s point in 206 might be all I'm getting at: people are tribal, western societies are increasingly rootless, and white people seem particularly so. Basing this tribalism on blood is what seems so odd to me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:25 PM
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I highly recommend the Anti-Bias Curriculum Handbook,, btw, which talks about teaching diversity to kisd by asking *all* of them to talk about their own *family* traditions. Even in "non-diverse" classrooms, that lets people realize that they *do* have ethnic/family traditions: we celebrate Xmas on Xmas eve, and put candles on the tree (b/c T's family is German); I ate borscht and pickled tongue at New Year's growing up, because my mom's family is German; I ate tamales at Xmas, because my dad's dad's family is Mexican. Etc.

This totally wouldn't work for me, incidentally. Oh, we eat Scrapple at Christmas because... people lived in Pennsylvania! We drink gin, because... yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:25 PM
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Tweety the Elder was trying to put the shameful Scottish past behind him. And rightly so.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:26 PM
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226: I always ended up drawing an Italian flag because the ancestry on the other side of the family is mostly Western European mutt. I guess my kids can draw Canadian flags. Sweet!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:28 PM
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The parentheses in 223 are sadly bad because I am post-softball-game drunk.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:28 PM
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That maple leaf is tricky for younger kids. The Quebec flag is worse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:29 PM
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Hey, so what about that Friday afternoon puzzle? Or Botticelli? Or sundae-eating contest?

Sundaes it is. Today is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!

http://www.aldenteblog.com/2008/07/happy-hot-fudge.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:35 PM
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Then there's the conundrum of the flag that flies over where your ancestors came to this country from now, versus then. I never lived under the Maple Leaf flag, although I learned as a Wolf Cub—what Baden-Powell's organization created in the Commonwealth for boys 8-12, equivalent in age but not in many other ways to Cub Scouts—how to break the Union Jack into its three constituent Saints' crosses, and how to tell when it was upside down. But Sifu's ancestors, and mine, came to this continent long before the Union Jack flew over Britain.

And this would be true of a great many Americans, and not trivially, because the definitions of nationality, and the control of regions, has changed a lot in the last century.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:44 PM
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This totally wouldn't work for me, incidentally. Oh, we eat Scrapple at Christmas because... people lived in Pennsylvania! We drink gin, because... yeah.

Sounds like traditions to me!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 5:56 PM
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236: but ethnic? I play ping pong with a backhand grip because... of my ancestors?

Or really is all B is saying that some people do things the same way a lot because hey whoah diversity?

She is, isn't she?

Okay!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:04 PM
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I believe the idea is that traditions aren't just the domain of the "ethnic". Anyway, dude, scrapple is totally ethnic, and I think you might find that British people and those they colonized drink more gin than, say, the Vietnamese.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:08 PM
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Tweety, your people are not diverse. You're the last uniform, generic group.

And don't give me any analytic philosophy BS about how your people is uniquely generic and uniform, and thus not like everyone else. Goedel, Tarski, and Kripke definitively proved that that argument sucks. You guys are the ethnic equivalent of the generic food substance in "Repo Man".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:13 PM
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If you eat squirrel brains, though, I'll back off a little.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:14 PM
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Tarski was a junkie and a sellout.

Fuck yes I eat squirrel brains. They are as steroids to my croquet game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:15 PM
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PS. "Whoah"? You wound me, sir.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:16 PM
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I speak the argot of my personages.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:21 PM
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235: the definitions of nationality, and the control of regions, has changed a lot in the last century.

Identification of ancestry, or heritage, in terms of nationality is a ... well, call it indicative of something.

This seems to be bothering me more than it should. What BPhD describes is one response to what we've called identity politics at times. And that's a response to the simultaneous homogenization and seeming diversification of (in this case) American culture. The latter seems a bit of a chimera, though; or rather, the differences are more finely grained than they might once have been, and real differences sort out more according to socioeconomic class than to ethnicity.

No? I'm putting this badly, in part because I don't wish to start a fight.

I'll leave it at that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:30 PM
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Bonus points if you ritually eat your ancestors' brains to make sure you get enough prions.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:30 PM
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244: well exactly, always a complex interaction, which proper American Studies should address. I'm pointing out the essential lameness of representing that constituent heritage by the flags of modern countries, as if those things were fixed entities.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:41 PM
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Mmmmm prions.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:48 PM
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Not discussed above are people who left country X because they hated country X. The first people I heard this about, believe it or not, were Swedes. (For poor Swedes Sweden was a hellhole in 1900.) But there are plenty of people who left their native land more in anger than in sorrow.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:51 PM
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246: well right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:52 PM
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248: Given your remarks about the ethnicising effects of Wobegon, did Giants in the Earth, or Main Street, make much impression on you growing up? The latter was where I got the idea of Minnesota Swedish-Americans as an ethnic group, and it was a huge best seller in 1920.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 6:58 PM
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What is scrapple?? The wikipedia entry makes it look like spam. Is it good? Are there whole worlds of delicious pork products out there that I have not tasted? The world is spinning; I need to sit.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:03 PM
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I haven't read the first, though I will some day, and I read "Main Street" after I'd left. What struck me most was Lewis's rather dated way of writing.

A regional author with a national presence my parents once met was J F Powers, who mostly wrote short stories but did write one novel I read way back then, "Morte D'Urban". Proto Keillor, maybe better.

In general there was little regional consciousness when I grew up, though, and the ethnic consciousness didn't apply to me since I'm not actually Norse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:05 PM
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Scrapple is a delicious way of cooking squirrel brains.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:06 PM
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Scrapple is super boss. It's like bacon loaf.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:09 PM
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But for the grace of God, we'd have scrapple filters on our computers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:10 PM
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Wiki:

Scrapple is arguably the first pork food invented in America. The culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called Panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients. The first recipes were created more than two hundred years ago by Dutch colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Neither generic nor Anglo-Saxon, apparently.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:13 PM
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This is intolerable. I am going to Pennsylvania next month; I resolve to rectify this situation at my first opportunity.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:15 PM
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If you have a lot of hog snouts in the fridge, scrapple is your best option.

Some claim it's Amish, like those funny hats and beards.

Does Apo know scrapple?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:17 PM
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I apparently have decided to mitigate my white guilt by dating sexxoring teh Other. It's been quite a pattern for me over the years, I'm a bit ashamed to admit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:25 PM
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There's five billion of them, JM. Also, Mormons are very Other.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:33 PM
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Mormons from the Yukon are fantastically Other, killing bears with sharp sticks and so on.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:37 PM
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Scrapple inspires folks to song.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:51 PM
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When are you going to make an honest honey out of your man, JM?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:56 PM
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Scrapple is pretty good, but I don't know if the Scrapulous online applet is going to succeed in making it popular with the kids.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 7:56 PM
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263.---I should ask him again sometime when he's more mellow.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:00 PM
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260.---Until I went to college, I was convinced that we Yukon Mormons weren't Other, just better. Then I realised we, that is to say I, were just lame.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:02 PM
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263: Ben, this is bad form. Marriage not the be all and end all, so on and so forth.

But. Scrapple is disgusting, unless you're into the super fatty, mixed pork muck like spam but moreso ... thing. It would give me zits in two seconds flat.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:05 PM
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So who said anything about marriage? I was referring to his life of crime.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:09 PM
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Money is the be all, JM. Marriage only comes next. Remodelling and interior decorating come next. Then the lower forms of swipple, for example, snappy outfits.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:10 PM
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It would give me zits in two seconds flat.

In the old days, you'd have to wait until you were married to do something like that.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:12 PM
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mitigate my white guilt by dating sexxoring teh Other. It's been quite a pattern for me over the years, I'm a bit ashamed to admit.

Heh. This was me for many years, enough so that my friends joked about it and my parents wondered what was wrong with me.

And now I'm dating Mr. I am 100% white.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:13 PM
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Mr. Scrapple himself!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:19 PM
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Are scrapple and swipple contradictory, although often combined in one person's habits? Baked Beans and Boston brown bread, also fish (Cod) chowder, were among the meals my mother actually had passed down to her, and cooked from scratch. She was "semi-homemade" the rest of the time. So old American/New England food was among the best I ate as a kid, without then having any sense of its particular origins. Some of it though, like my mother's version of bread pudding, had exactly that mucilageous consistency Parsimon would gag over.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:20 PM
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Then the lower forms of swipple, for example, snappy outfits.

For some reason this is very, very funny.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:20 PM
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And you know you're otherizing him for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:20 PM
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252: I only started reading J. F. Powers' stories a few years ago, but am very impressed. Talk about the relationship-free life! Also has its pains for real.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:31 PM
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Don't tell them that, IDP. The RFL (TM) is serene, untroubled, and at times ecstatic.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 8:41 PM
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When I was in 6th grade we did this diversity exercise where all the kids had to draw one of the flags of the nations their ancestors lived in.

For years, I drew the Irish and German flags. Then one year my dad actually looked into his genealogy and turns out not actually German.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 10:47 PM
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I have no idea why my family eats sauerkraut and pork on New Year's, but I'd be willing to bet that it isn't based on my ancestry.

Right, but that's the point of the whole anti-bias thing: that ancestry isn't the only marker of difference. It's just one among a whole lot of other things that make people different from each other.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:09 PM
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And yes, scrapple = "culture." I've never eaten fucking scrapple in my life. It sounds disgusting.

The point is that part of the problem with "white" is that people think "oh, I'm just normal--it doesn't *mean* anything." Dude, as a fellow white person, I'm telling you: eating scrapple is fucking weird.

So is getting Chinese food on Xmas eve, and/or going to the movies on Xmas day (which a lot of people I knew growing up did).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:15 PM
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279: All the examples you gave, though, were 'I do X because my ancestors were X', which helps expand the idea of white-as-ethnicity. It's a little harder when the answer to why we do X is 'there was probably a sale at K-mart.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:19 PM
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281: Surely there are things your family does that all the neighbors don't do. Like, for instance, you have how many sisters?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:22 PM
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...is fucking weird...So is getting Chinese food on Xmas eve, and/or going to the movies on Xmas day (which a lot of people I knew growing up did).

The most anti-Semitic thing ever.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:27 PM
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The people I knew who did that weren't Jews, though. They were, like Filipinos. Or Mexicans.

Admit it, though: being Jewish is weird.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:30 PM
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I assume you learned this kind of cultural sensitivity from your little book? Because your deft touch around matters of diversity is inspiring.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:37 PM
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Shut up, Jew you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:49 PM
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Does that book have any chapters on the blood libel?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-25-08 11:57 PM
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Alas, no.

It's true, I admit, that having grown up in central Cali, where everyone is Catholic, I'm astonishingly stupid about cluing in that x, y, or z is a Jewish thing. Like seriously, the movies on Xmas/Chinese food on Xmas eve? Even though it has been pointed out to me before that, duh, Jews, I really think of the Filipino families who'd go to movies on Xmas, and Chinese food on Xmas eve reads to me as "east coast." I'm astonishingly stupid. One of my good h.s. friends' surname was Lieberman, for fuck's sake, and I think it didn't occur to me until senior year that DUH, he was Jewish.

In my defense, he *was* attending a Catholic high school.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:01 AM
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My neighbor in the dorms first year of college was a woman from Waukesha, WI. She was delightful: smart, sweet as pie, and, apparently, a world-class track-and-field athlete. Anyway, after learning that I was Jewish (I mean, c'mon, someone had to "learn" that Ari Kelman -- not to mention my looks -- was Jewish?), she very politely asked me what had happened to my horns. She wondered if I had filed them down. And if I had, had that procedure hurt a lot. It was a bit awkward. But she was totally serious and not at all rude about the whole thing. So I politely explained that only a plurality of Jews have horns, that the reason that there are so many Jewish doctors is so we don't have to rely on the Goyim to perform the de-horning surgeries, and that tails are actually even less common than horns (black people, though, well that's another matter entirely). She felt incredibly lousy about the whole thing.

And now I know that she was actually pretty hip compared to you.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:15 AM
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No no, you don't understand. You people are invisible to me, because I don't see color Jewishness.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:20 AM
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East coast jewish is different from west coast jewish. It took until 7th grade for me to distinguish between "jewish" and "rich." And even then only because everybody met through their hebrew schools but me. Bah. I'm thinking of studying art.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:25 AM
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Jews control the international art trade, you know. And the international art textbook trade.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:27 AM
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I think the words you're looking for are, "Some of my best friends are Jews. But I don't even know that they're Jews. Because I don't pay attention to that kind of thing. Because we're all god's creatures, each one of us a normal person or a Jesus-killing kike perfect snowflake.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:28 AM
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Crap, where did the rest of you people come from? That's some sneaky shit. Anyway, 293 to 290.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:29 AM
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Sorry to jew you out of your rightful comment spot, ari.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:31 AM
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More hilarious jokes about Jews and Christians: a WASPy college gf of mine, who really is a little anti-Catholic (like, seriously, I don't think she'd ever *met* a Catholic before college) is, being from suburban New York and all, clued in about Jewish holidays, etc. We had a lot of convos in college filling each other in on the alien ways of Jews and Catholics.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:31 AM
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I don't think the ruse is going to work, Ben. Everyone here -- except B, I guess -- knows that our people work as a team.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:32 AM
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293: No, it's more like "I don't pay attention to that kind of thing because I'm a provincial dumbass."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 12:32 AM
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The best part of being from Philadelphia is that it makes you automatically ethnic. We have our own ethnic foods and everything. People find the idea of scrapple almost as shocking as haggis.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 6:37 AM
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Jews are not unique little snowflakes. They're just weird. Sorry, guys.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 6:38 AM
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I remember David Bowie making hip-hop gestures and talking in hip-hop slang at the VMAs and saying something along the lines of "and some of you will say/have said I'm racist, but I think my (black) wife would disagree".

Surely this is one form of the long route, yes?


Posted by: Melvin | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 9:41 AM
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"Some of my best wives were black."


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-26-08 9:56 AM
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Jews have the largest nuclear arsenal of any single ethnic group. (As opposed to multi-ethnic nation-state). Also, the Mossad is the best ethnic secret service, and AIPAC carries more clout with your government than you do. So be careful what you say, anti-semites.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07-27-08 1:55 PM
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When I was in 6th grade we did this diversity exercise where all the kids had to draw one of the flags of the nations their ancestors lived in.

This really brought home to me how different it must be to live in a country where pretty well everybody originally comes from somewhere else. If we had done this exercise in my old school, almost everyone except the Chinese kid and the Kenyan kid would have drawn the same flag - that of the country that we were all, at that point, living in, and that our families had lived in since pretty much the start of recorded history.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-28-08 3:23 AM
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