--

Watching Alexander DVD now

I suppose I should be enjoying the nice weather, but instead I ate a bagel, played with my cats, and popped in the Alexander DVD, a 2 hour and 55 minute feature. Colin Farrell in a blonde wig. Yay.

Anyway, during the first 30 minutes, we are exposed to the open gayness of some of our most beloved historical characters.

Perhaps the film will suck (I'm still watching), but I have to believe the majority of Americans were put off by this film exposing certain facts.

I have spent my life steeped in the American revelry and admiration of classical Greek and Roman culture. In Chicago, I am surrounded by tall phallic buildings that owe much of their inspiration to this era.

A visit to the art museum always reminds me of where Americans believe they come from. In school, we had to take Western Civ where I got to hear all about how great the Greeks and Romans were. Cool.

Haw haw. WE CAME FROM AN OPENLY GAY CULTURE!!!!

You plebes hate hearing about it, don't you!? (Just shouting out, not calling any of you on this board "plebes".)

This movie was doomed for its honesty, no matter how good or bad it is.

Long live man on man LOVE! Hypermasculine Village People made us what we are today!
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Haven't seen it. Let us know how it turns out as a movie overall, not just in its presentation of Greek civilization.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 6th, 2005
You might very well enjoy the novels by Mary Renault: The Last of the Wine, Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, The Mask of Apollo, etc.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 6th, 2005
Regarding Alexander the historical figure:

http://pothos.org/alexander.asp?paraID=42
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 6th, 2005
Neato! Thanks for the book suggestions. I absolutely love historical novels and historical fiction.

Any other good authors? I can never seem to find anyone but James Michener.

I just bought Persian Boy and a couple others.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Thanks Rich. Interesting. Open minds, open hearts. I think modern male relationships are stifled by homo-phobia.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Uh, you know who directed Alexander, don't you?

Philo
Permalink Rev. Philo 
August 6th, 2005
so?
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Rev. Philo,

Lose the condescending, Uh, on your next post.

Best,
Fa
Permalink FaLing@Orbiz.ch 
August 6th, 2005
The man has a long and distinguished history of not letting silly things like facts keep him from pushing a political agenda.

"The Day Reagan Was Shot" -
http://opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=95001594

"JFK" -
http://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100menu.html

"Nixon" -
http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/_/id/5948905?pageid=rs.ReviewsMovieArchive&pageregion=mainRegion&afl=imdb&rnd=1123350926763&has-player=true&version=6.0.12.1059

etc.
Philo
Permalink Rev. Philo 
August 6th, 2005
Yeah, but...your point is moot. Rich Rogers pointed to a link that supports the theory and another critically acclaimed author mentioned in this thread says the same.

Greeks were supportive of gay culture. I don't really care whether Alexander was gay or not.

Haw haw.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
The only reason gay culture is significant to me is because Americans are so stupid about it. Yes, the movie kinda sucks but the reality is still tehre.

In any case, many cultures have a large gay underground. Afghanistan, as written by James Michener, seems to have a very sexually repressed culture that enjoys pretty young boys, too.

Let's make a logical leap here without evidence, just for fun: Sexually repressed,macho cultures lead to gay undergrounds that piss off the majority.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Let's take it another step and generalize:

Oppressive cultures lead to underground subcultures that piss off the majority.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 6th, 2005
I'm trying to cultivate my inner bigot...

I hate 9 o'clocks! AMs and PMs, they all look alike to me.

The funniest thing is when so-called Catholics and Protestants got at each other's throats. There's always going to be some microdifference that causes one group to point out the other is clearly the Great Satan, as a few wiseguys profit immensely from the ensuing hilarity.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 6th, 2005
Well, it is over now.

Three reasons this film faired more poorly than Troy and other similar flicks (Gladiator was just great so leaving that one out of the comparison)--

1. Blonde hero fucks some Asian brown chick!!! Oh NOOOO!
2. Blonde hero fucks boys???!!! Oh NOOOOO!!
3. Irish accents?

Ok, #3 only came out as an issue because of #1 and #2. All these grandiose films stink, not just this one. But Oliver Stone doesn't do PC stuff, so "OHHH NOOOOO HEEEE SUCCKS!!"

Damn Americans. Can't handle a meandering plot unless two blondies are the lead.

Now if only Gwyneth Paltrow was the hoochie he married. Then this would have made the A-list instead of the Razzies.

Lay it on me. I am now anti-American enough with this post to be shouted off the board now. I'm waiting...
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
> I just bought Persian Boy and a couple others.

Well, good. Those are the books in which I read about "arete" for the first time (before reading about it again in _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_).

> I absolutely love historical novels and historical fiction. Any other good authors?

I recently enjoyed _Gates of Fire_ by Steven Pressfield ... it isn't homophile ... its subjects are the Spartans at Thermopylae.

My dad likes the _Master and Commander_ series, by Patrick O'Brian (but I haven't read them).
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 6th, 2005
> historical novels and historical fiction

_Kara Kush_ by Idries Shah is set in relatively modern times: the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 6th, 2005
What about #4 -

Shallow American public already tired of mega-budget historical epics?

I understand how you might not like that theory, since it doesn't feed your need to be oppressed by some majority, but you must grant that it has some validity, especially since AFAIK the whole "Alexander has a gay slant" thing didn't start until after the movie was doing poorly.

Philo
Permalink Rev. Philo 
August 6th, 2005
" since it doesn't feed your need to be oppressed by some majority"


I can't argue on this subject because I'm not serious, and you have way more time than I to devote to it.

Have fun accusing me of needing oppression. If it makes you feel better--It is true. I NEED to feel whitey is down on me.

There.

Let's agree that I'm a self-centered needy minority who blames the world for her failures.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Christopher Wells --

I saw the film Master and Commander, which I enjoyed very much. Russell Crowe is a great actor.

Maybe I'll try one of the books, but I'm not a fan of weaponry and military details. It looks like they go into the sailing terminology a little heavy.

I've put the others on my list for future consideration. :)
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Sharkfish, I'm sorry, but to be honest in the posts I've seen from you here you act *exactly* like every chip-on-her-shoulder intelligent, self-assured, "everyone is lost but me" woman I've ever known.

:)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 6th, 2005
And you remind me of every self-assured white man who once dated a woman of color and therefore feels they "know" something about the subject of oppression.

:)
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
sharkfish,

I recall the media reporting that Oliver Stone similarly whined about all the reasons why his movie didn't do well. Of course he left out any possibility that maybe people just weren't interested in another historical epic, or that maybe...just maybe...it just wasn't that great a movie.

He sounded like the RIAA, actually. The economy goes down the tubes, but is _that_ why people aren't buying our music? Nooooo...it's those nasty file-sharing programs. It's whatever _we_ want to blame it on.

I'm reminded of a discussion between characters in "Marjorie Morningstar" (by Herman Wouk) about how a movie theater is like a candy store. If your candy store only sells vegetables, because you say they're better for people, you won't get people to eat vegetables; you'll just get them to go to a different candy store. Whether or not Stone's movie was any good is up for debate, but just because it's theoretically good for people to see it (as he apparently thought) doesn't mean they'll want to.

On the other hand, the critics trashed "National Treasure" this past summer. I saw it recently and thought the "history" was silly rubbish, and the plausibility scarcely hung by a thread...but it was also tremendously entertaining and fun. Was "Alexander"?
Permalink Kyralessa 
August 6th, 2005
I liked National Treasure too. I was surprised I enjoyed it because it was so implausible.

We'll never know why one crappy movie does outstandingly well while other crappy movies do not.

I thought Passion of the Christ was awful. But I'm in small company.

I imagine Oliver Stone has a big ego and can't admit when he screws up. He could have done a better job with Alexander. Part of the problem is the high level of expectation for such films. Everyone already knows the story, so the execution is even more important.

I enjoyed Troy more. But then, Brad Pitt's buns are fuller and rounder and he looks better in a skirt.

I dunno. I keep thinking of those Liz Taylor films. Cleopatra, indeed. The telling of history is fraught with danger. I imagine we will look back on these in a few decades and feel the same way about Troy and Alexander as we do about Antony and Cleopatra from the 50s.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Angelina Jolie, rolling her Rs. Heh. Couldn't see her as the mom. Her handling the snakes was fun.

I did enjoy Rosario Dawson's dance. I really like the pretty androgenous boys throughout. If that's your thing, get this flick. Jaye Davidson in StarGate was my last femme-boy lust.

I can't wait until I'm a rich old lady and can have a kept harem of pretty boys to service me.

Have I weirded anyone out yet?
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Irish accents all over the film. But then, what did ancient Greeks sound like?

What would they have sounded like if they spoke English?

I always love when films on Germany have English-speakers with German accents who are supposed to be speaking German. But how else would it be done for American film?

The Passion used the actual language. Subtitles are a tad intrusive. I wonder--kind of like having to watch the opera with the translation thingy above the stage. Yuck.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
"who once dated a woman of color"

Where did I say they were black? You should be proud - the "arrogant woman who knows how all men think" stereotype is aracial. :)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 6th, 2005
A-ha! "Of color" does not necessarily mean "black"!

Gotcha making your own assumptions. So there!
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
"Subtitles are a tad intrusive"

Not if you are used to them.

I am so glad we use them in the Netherlands.

We hear English in American movies, French in French ones, Chinese in Chinese ones.

When you falsify the language, you take away half of the experience.

When you are used to subtitles, they are processed at a subconscious level and not intrusive at all.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
August 6th, 2005
**A-ha! "Of color" does not necessarily mean "black"!**

Well I learned something today. Didn't know that, thanks.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 6th, 2005
Since we appear to have strayed onto matteers of ethnicity - does anyone else find the idea of a *Greek* king being cast as a *blond* slightly odd?
Permalink a cynic writes... 
August 6th, 2005
I think it depends on the usage.

http://encyclopedia.laborlawtalk.com/people_of_color

"Colored and person of color (or people of color in the plural sense) are terms that were commonly used to describe people who do not have white skin or a Caucasian appearance. This usually meant black African Americans, although the terms can be applied to members of other races as well."

I'm not sure whether or not to take the following passage as being written by someone with an ax to grind, or as being a statement of objective fact that deserves being 1/6 of the definition of "people of color."

"In 1863, the War Department had established the Bureau of Colored Troops. No African Americans fought in the 1861-1865 War Between the States because the term African American was created after 1960 to displace the term negro which is seldom used now. It is a corruption of history to state that African Americans fought in the War Between the States."
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 6th, 2005
Q: Since we appear to have strayed onto matteers of ethnicity - does anyone else find the idea of a *Greek* king being cast as a *blond* slightly odd?

A: The man has a long and distinguished history of not letting silly things like facts keep him from pushing a political agenda.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 6th, 2005
When people of color speak of "people of color", they do not mean black people, otherwise, they would just say "black" people, not "people of color".

Don't any of you have friends "of color"? Damn. Not everyone uses the phrase, but it is meant to be all-inclusive of brown/black.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 6th, 2005
Don't any of you have friends "of color"?

Yep, lots. Oddly, we don't sit around discussing how I should describe their skin color.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 6th, 2005
Who the frick uses "people of color" anymore?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 6th, 2005
I have so few friends I can't really afford to classify them by pigmentation.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 6th, 2005
Just for the record, Greece as a unit didn't really exist at the time, there was Athens, and Thebes, and Sparta .... Alexander was Macedonian, which you will be reminded of (loudly) if you ever get within range of a Macedonian from either side of a rather disputed border between modern day Greece and FYROM aka Macedonia. Everybody wants to claim this bloke.

BTW Cleopatra descended from Alex's good buddy Ptolemy.

If you want some good historical fiction Colleen McCullough wrote about Rome in and around Julius Caesar, Octavius, Mark A. et al and yep, they too were fond of a bit of the other. Start with "The First Man in Rome" (big books).
Permalink trollop 
August 6th, 2005
"Who the frick uses "people of color" anymore?"

"Bloom County. 1988. Steve Dallas and his parents:

Mom: That's the most adorable little colored girl playing outside.
Steve: "Colored"? You're saying "colored people" in 1988? You know better, Ma.
Mom: Then why the "National Association for Colored People? I don't think Negroes mind at all.
Steve: Don't say "Negroes," Ma! You can't say "Negroes"!
Mom: Can I say "United Negro College Fund"?
Steve: You are baiting me, Ma!
Dad: That's it. We're leaving.
Mom: Stay put, Reginald. "Mister Socially Sensitive" isn't finished shaming his parents into enlightenment.
Steve: Everybody just calm down. Let's agree to use the the New-Age term "People of Color."
Mom: People of Color.
Steve: People of Color.
Mom: Colored people.
Steve: NO!!
Dad: We're leaving."

(copied from http://the-w.com/thread.php/id=23799)
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 6th, 2005
That's actually what I'd based my understanding of the term "People of Color" on. [grin]

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 6th, 2005
I would replace that whole Labor Law Talk page with that Bloom County strip in a heartbeat.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 7th, 2005
Sharkfish,
There are people in the world who have no problem playing golf with a black woman. There are people in this world who give very less attention to whether you are a black, white or a brown female. Why do you all the time emphasise on things that are not that important? Brown female, black female....
Permalink Another poster... 
August 7th, 2005
"Just for the record, Greece as a unit didn't really exist at the time, there was Athens, and Thebes, and Sparta .... Alexander was Macedonian, which you will be reminded of (loudly) if you ever get within range of a Macedonian from either side of a rather disputed border between modern day Greece and FYROM aka Macedonia."

The fact that there was no central government in Greece doesn't mean that they didn't consider themselves all Greeks.

They shared language, Gods, and of course the Olympic Games, on which their calender was based.

Moderen Macedonians, as a Slavic people, have little to do with ancient Macedonians, who were of Doric Greek descent (like Spartans were). This was recognized and documented at the time.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
August 7th, 2005
And modern Greeks have little to do with ancient Greeks. The dispute I alluded to is the distaste modern Greece has for the presence of the new Macedonian nation. A portion of Greece shares that name so there is some border friction. Greek influence in Melbourne is so strong that local politicians take care to refer to Macedonia as FYROM.

Anyhoo, we too share language, possibly some gods and the Olympics so are we both (New or Old) Hollanders :-)

Only joking. I accept your broader points, after all the Greeks had pushed out to Sicily, southern France, through the Bosporus and to Libya two centuries before ancient Macedon emerged without benefit of a dominant cultural centre. Philip II (Alexander's father) provided that by rolling up the other Hellenic city states and yes, these Macedonians were Greek, though Athenians weren't pleased to admit it.
Permalink trollop 
August 7th, 2005
"Why do you all the time emphasise on things that are not that important? Brown female, black female...."

We should keep in mind that the US is racist, perhaps to the core. This is not something I say with melodrama, just as a statement of fact.

Quick, what image does "welfare mother" conjure? The great majority will envision a black woman, probably arrogant.

The jail disparity -- we know we're the biggest prison state in the world. Guess who we lock up disproportionately in our l'il gulags. What would you say if some country did this to Jews?

(China might've caught up to us on absolute imprisonment numbers if you guess at their unreporteds, but they have many times our population.)

Does anyone doubt whether wealth is correlated with race?
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
Incidentally, I do think it's counterproductive to always be angry, but it's not like it'd surprise me if some Jewish guy had some sharp corners if we kept on imprisoning his race in the US.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
"We should keep in mind that the US is racist, perhaps to the core."

You misspelled "people are"

I just think we have one of the longest, largest, most popular histories of massive integration (and thus massive racial friction), but we are by no means alone in racism. (South Africa, Tutsi/Hutu, Bosnia, Iraq, Germany, Spain etc, etc)

Xenophobia is a genetic imperative. It takes strong socialization to suppress it. It's going to be a long time coming, unfortunately. :(

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 7th, 2005
And you misspelled, "So what?" Because that's how it sounds when a relatively wealthy, comfortable guy wants to downplay his country's deep racism and point out someone else's.

"Hey, compared to Nazi Germany, we're not so bad!" What kind of thinking is that? Xenophobia is by no means a "genetic imperative," but it indeed is a very useful political tool wielded by those who do well from divisions.

Being American has never required being an apologist for our massive problems.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
"wants to downplay his country's deep racism and point out someone else's."

Bullshit. We have big racial problems in this nation; however racism is inherent in human nature, not some kind of US-only problem. And I think that trying to pretend it's a US-only problem is going to hide the root causes, potential solutions, and issues elsewhere on the globe.

Gun culture? US-only
Sexual repression? US-only
Hyperconsumerism? US-only
Egoism? US-centric

But racism? NOT a US-only problem.

"Hey, compared to Nazi Germany, we're not so bad!" What kind of thinking is that?

I'm not saying it that way, you nit - I'm saying this isn't a US-only problem. Go ask a bunch of Europeans how they feel about Romany and get back to me.

"Xenophobia is by no means a "genetic imperative,""

Yes it is - it's how evolution works.

"but it indeed is a very useful political tool wielded by those who do well from divisions."

I assume you're talking about the self-appointed representatives of various minority factions here? :)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 7th, 2005
>> "Xenophobia is by no means a "genetic imperative,""
> Yes it is - it's how evolution works.

Isn't just as easy to imagine a gene whose impererative is that its carrier mate with everyone including foreigners).
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 7th, 2005
I'm in Germany right now, which you listed in your Axis of Racism. I haven't seen a tiny fraction of the racism I've encountered in the US. In the US, angry poor people have called me "gook" in public because my features are fairly asian; luckily the wealthy don't currently mind me at all since I'm supposedly of "industrious" stock. I've never seen that in Germany.

You see, it's not some genetic imperative. Scapegoating is a useful political tool. As this tool becomes increasingly useful in Germany, which I predict it will be for economic reasons, racism against my "kind" will increase. If I weren't of an alien race, I'd be attacked for some ideological reason like religion.

Like many of my more comfortable fellow US citizens, it appears you wish to paint me as someone who believes that racism was invented in the US. This of course is false; I merely say it's deep and obvious in the US. There is no denying the world-beating and racist jail rate; the early genocide of the natives; the fact that (as Jon Stewart notes) our founding fathers were slaving, whoring landowners.

The US was born in racism. And is perhaps racist to the core.

Read Christopher Columbus's diary. After he remarked in his diary that he found the natives unusually friendly, beautiful and ingenious, he quickly mused: "I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men, and govern them as I pleased." The Spaniards of course proceeded to pleasure themselves with the most forbidden atrocities, and Columbus was even imprisoned by his third voyage.

Perhaps the natives should have been as "genetically xenophobic" as you claim humanity is. Hateful and preemptive. But they weren't (outside of occasional fights and disputes), and paid for it through their genocide.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
I agree with Philo, though I'm not sure it can be traced back to genetic roots.

In America we're largely racist against people who look "differnt." Many Europeans I talk to don't like people just across the border in another country. Even if they share a similar heritage. The stereotypes they come up with are startling, and very strong, and almost completely untrue.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 7th, 2005
I think racism requires a certain amount of interaction with the races in question, at least on a societal level. The Native Americans couldn't be racist against the Europeans because they'd never encountered them before. Columbus, on the other hand, was expecting to meet a group of people different from himself.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 7th, 2005
"I haven't seen a tiny fraction of the racism" -> "I've barely seen a tiny fraction of the racism"
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
Incidentally, excuse me if I reacted too strongly to Philo's rhetorical use of "You misspelled..." Every so often I get in a very serious mood, and ironically I don't think that's good for serious discussion where people exchange observations.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
"the fact that (as Jon Stewart notes) our founding fathers were slaving, whoring landowners."

And our founding fathers originated from...?

It's not like the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, breathed in the air and instantly hated people with brown skin.

And to be honest, your observation of Germany is somewhat frightening. Do you truly think that the kind of racial hatred that created and turned a blind eye to the holocaust could be erased from society in just two generations? I certainly *wish* it could be so, but I think to expect it is foolhardy.

Xenophobia is how genetic imperatives are passed down. You know the standard evolution equation - assume a population of colorblind deer and a plant strain where blue berries are poisonous while red berries aren't. When a strain of deer that can discern red from blue occurs, they will thrive. But their children won't survive unless they interbreed. So the deer that truly thrive are those that aren't just color sensitive, but also only breed with those like themselves.

There's also argument that those "unlike us", in a competitive environment may try to take from us. Again - those bred to be xenophobic will be quicker to defend themselves and survive.

That was a million years ago. Now we have to figure out how to get rid of it.

And just in case you hadn't picked it up, I'm absolutely aracist, asexist, etc. I have enough problems trying to deal with people who are assholes or jackasses without inventing reasons to dislike them. :)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 7th, 2005
"And to be honest, your observation of Germany is somewhat frightening."

What is your experience of Germany? I would like to know what authority you presume speak with. I believe I've seen that worldview of yours before, as I'll explain later.

Let me mention a blonde blue-eyed gal I know, who visited the US on a highschool exchange visit. She went to New Orleans, and someone in the hallway stopped her, raised his hand in salute, and exclaimed, "Heil Hitler!" She was speechless, as she'd never seen anything like it.

Then take another German, who I actually met when she went on an exchange to my (urban) highschool, and who I briefly had a relationship with. As I flirted with her in Chem, the teacher nervously asked her how the "racism problem" was, with similar assumptions as you have. She had no idea how to respond.

You see, racism isn't some stain handed down through the generations, which slowly needs to be rubbed off and forgotten. There are political reasons for it, and economic aspects of the US culture reinforce preexisting racism. My Chem teacher fell into the trap of thinking that the US was so racist, the former Nazi country had to be even more so, or at least on par with the US!
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
"presume speak with" -> "speak with"
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
> racism isn't some stain handed down through the generations, which slowly needs to be rubbed off and forgotten

Philo seems to be asserting that racism (i.e. xenophobia) is genetic. :-)
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 7th, 2005
(Well, I hear the former East Germany's pretty racist and poor, though I don't seriously know since I haven't visited. I'm confining my observations to the former West Germany. I'm sure there's some racism in the West, but it's like homelessness: I've only seen one clearly homeless guy in my visits here, whereas I trip over them in the US. So it seems to me there's none here, when that's not perfectly true.)
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
"the teacher nervously asked her how the "racism problem" was, with similar assumptions as you have. She had no idea how to respond."

Jesus you are reading this all wrong.

I am simply saying that sixty years ago there are some indications of anti-semitism in Germany. Now if you want to assert that in two generations the entire continent of Europe has eradicated the racism that made the US the only safe haven for those escaping the holocaust, allow me a bemused smile. ;)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 7th, 2005
Several comments:

---
"1. Blonde hero fucks some Asian brown chick!!! Oh NOOOO!"

Your not quite groking the racism angle:

White guy fucks non white chic, great!
White chic fucks non white guy. Oh NOOO!

---

Person of color makes the assumption that white isn't a color. How offensive!! :) I know, white people were the ones who probably created the term.

---

"Let me mention a blonde blue-eyed gal I know, who visited the US on a highschool exchange visit. She went to New Orleans, and someone in the hallway stopped her, raised his hand in salute, and exclaimed, "Heil Hitler!" She was speechless, as she'd never seen anything like it"

Trying to conclude a point using one or two anecdotal and hearsay stories? Lame!!!

---

"The jail disparity -- we know we're the biggest prison state in the world. Guess who we [US] lock up disproportionately in our l'il gulags"

We lock up males in way higher proportion to females. Are we sexist against males?
Permalink josReader 
August 7th, 2005
"allow me a bemused smile. ;)"

Haven't you heard? Smile all you want! We are currently the hegemons; we can be as smug and sneering as we wish. ;)

Again, what do you know of Germany? I'm happy to listen if you have experiences which contradict mine.

For all the things I sincerely love about the US, such as our openness and individualism, one crappy thing about us is our mental laziness. We all know our media is garbage, but many still feel fit to pass judgement on the world without any knowledge or experience of those we speak of. And we do it with amused smiles.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
"We lock up males in way higher proportion to females. Are we sexist against males?"

Yes.

Also, I would like to remind people here that there are statistics that show that blacks are convicted in much higher percentages for the exact same crimes.

We have a problem here, people. Get out of your ridiculous denial. But you won't. You'll hide behind specious arguments.

So I will go on pretending the playing field isn't ridiculously against the majority of brown people so I can cope, and you'll go on pretending the same so you can cope.

It is a lot easier than actually seeing reality, I tell you.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 7th, 2005
"We are currently the hegemons; we can be as smug and sneering as we wish. ;)"

And that is how I read a lot of responses in this thread.

The discussion isn't helping my psyche much, because the smugness and the derision is here whether or not anyone wants to admit it.

So I am bowing out of my thread.

Have a great Sunday night while I wallow in mindless movie entertainment and pretend the majority of white males don't really believe I'm just making excuses and basically I just suck.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 7th, 2005
Tayssir, you do realize you completely ignored what I wrote, right?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 7th, 2005
I agree that there is a problem in the US with racism and sexism. What I resent is people assuming that just because I am a white male, I am also racist and/or sexist.

It's rather racist and sexist to make that assumption of me.

It annoys me that some who wish to not be classified by race or gender do exactly that to me. It annoys me that *anyone* does that to me, regardless of the subset of humanity they happen to belong to.

It annoys me that anyone does that to anyone.

Humanity really doesn't have the time for such stupid, petty things as that. It exists, it sucks, I'm doing my share to change it by not participating in it. Anyone who wishes to project further obligations onto me will find that I summarily ignore their desires in that arena.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 7th, 2005
<shrug> I thought the same of you, Philo. We're talking at cross-purposes.


(Incidentally, one person I speak with also sometimes feels that others don't understand her; I personally suspect she perceives their disagreement as misunderstanding. But who knows?)
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
Tayssir, my point regarding Germany is a simple belief that societies CANNOT change in two generations. And you do need to wonder if your experiences would've been exactly the same in 1920... ;)

Anyway, that's just one of my examples. Care to explain to me how Bosnia, Iraq, and Africa have to racial troubles either?

And I am NOT trying to say "see, it's worse in other places, so we're okay" - I just resent that it's a problem wholly unique to the US. I think there's racism all over the globe.

And I appreciate your assumption of how I think, based on my being white. No racism there. ;-)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 7th, 2005
Please remind me where I called you white, Philo. I doubt I did, as I didn't know your race until this very moment. (However, I think you're relatively wealthy and comfortable, in the same sense I am.)

But tell us how we can make this forum less oppressive for you, as you appear to feel unfairly mistreated due to your race.

As for Bosnia, Iraq, Africa and 1920s Germany, I have no intention of lecturing you about them as I have little experience with them. If you do, you're welcome to share your firsthand experiences and enrich this conversation.

Further, you seem to wish to straw-man me by making it seem I believe racism is "wholly unique to the US." However, I stated: "it appears you wish to paint me as someone who believes that racism was invented in the US. This of course is false; I merely say it's deep and obvious in the US."

Finally, I sympathise that you "resent" what you believe people say here. If I were to pity people, I'd think others are more deserving; but I can still commiserate with you.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 7th, 2005
"Further, you seem to wish to straw-man me by making it seem I believe racism is "wholly unique to the US."

It's in your imagination.
Permalink Rick Tang 
August 8th, 2005
Anti-semitism was general throughout the developed world from the late 19th century through to the mid 20th century at least. It wasn't confined to Germany and the USSR it was pervasive within the US as well.

I've encountered some racist attitudes in Germany, probably not as often or as many as here, I despair of my brother in law and mother in law its just ingrained so you stay away from those subjects. But it isn't a vicious or violent racism just the underlying prejudice.

I haven't seen Alexander so I don't know if it presents Greek love in the historical context correctly. In a real sense Greek love isn't homosexuality, it isn't even bisexual, its more about friendship and the extreme ties that involving sex in the relationship gives. In some way it seems that when Greeks became adolescents their first sexual experience was likely to be with the same sex, with their closest friend, there was considerable separation of sexes and the same public requirement of chastity in women before marriage, amongst landed families at any rate.

Greek society then accepted same sex relationships, male and female, and treated them as not-sex, yet erotic, this is at such odds with our own notions that its difficult to grasp.

Those relationships though were treated as love relationships and as romantically as any male-female relationship. However, it also seems clear that any same sex relationship that got in the way of a heterosexual marriage was a moral error, a sin. That is probably because of the need for procreation and settled families.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 8th, 2005
just want to point out that citing the greeks as an example of a "forward-thinking" culture in comparison to american culture may not be the best idea.

slavery was quite common as was having sex with young boys...


oh, and the movie sucked big time. the only interesting character was phillip (whom i think doesn't get the recognition he deserves. easy to conquer an empire when your dad lays the foundation of a highly trained veteran army for ya, not to mention defeating all immediate rivals for power).
Permalink Kenny 
August 8th, 2005
>> Xenophobia is a genetic imperative. It takes strong socialization to suppress it. It's going to be a long time coming, unfortunately. :(

Wouldn't it be better to refer to it a predisposition to behavior as opposed to an imperative? A predisposition hard-wired in, to be certain, but one that can be socializied out to a greater or lesser extent, should the culture choose to. And always aware, of course, that the behavior will re-manifest if not monitored and dealt with by the culture as a matter of deliberate choice?
Permalink Mongo 
August 8th, 2005
"Greek society then accepted same sex relationships, male and female, and treated them as not-sex, yet erotic, this is at such odds with our own notions that its difficult to grasp."

Many young people reportedly consider activities short of intercourse as not-sex today, so it may not be as alien an idea as you suggest.

The same sex part perhaps, but, as you point out, that probably stemmed more from the segregation of the sexes, which is of course not the case today.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 8th, 2005
And curiously, the first google link for "germany racism":

http://wikitravel.org/en/Talk:Germany/Racism

contains a rant by a German person claiming that, yes, Germans can be quite racist.

Which, being the anecdotal experience of a single individual is of course extremely inconclusive, but the same goes equally for Tayssir's subjective experience.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 8th, 2005
It's also important to take into account the ethnic breakdown of Germany:

http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/04-07/germany-nutz-and-bolts.html

"Ethnic Breakdown: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Serbo-Croatian, Italian, Russian, Greek, Polish, Spanish)"

There are very few minorities in Germany, and, evidently, almost no non Europeans. Perhaps the reason that Germany has little problem with racism is that there is very little opportunity for interaction with people of other races?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 8th, 2005
The Wikipedia article is fair; at the very top it has a German of Turk origin explaining he's felt NO racism his entire life there, and the Nils fellow disagrees with a counterrant.

As for the points raised in the "debate" last night with Philo... why seriously consider the points raised? ;) It's the typical testosterone-fueled discussion you frequently see when people are in the wrong mood and entertaining themselves on some forum; and I personally think both sides had rather ridiculous, stubborn claims. I'm certainly not impressed by my own points, and not by the other fella's either.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 8th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

Other topics: August, 2005 Other topics: August, 2005 Recent topics Recent topics