Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Is what we will know in a couple of days from the media.

Yesterday, when the tragedy in Oslo happened, I was working, and then I was baking, and then I went out. So I only found out about it this morning, when the victim count had already reached 91.

This is why I missed out on the mainstream media’s most recent anti-Muslim scare: because, apparently,  an occurrence of a terrorist attack strongly implies there have to be some Muslims involved in it somewhere.

If you’re writing a news article about a terrorist attack, it’s also advisable to mention how the number of Muslim immigrants in Europe has been rising steadily, or, better yet, has risen abruptly, and the Muslim population doubled or tripled, or how the doubling or tripling or quadrupling are expected to be as well as done by 2020, or something like that.

Never give any numbers: numbers are the arch-nemesis of any good scare. Always say “tripled”, as in “the population of Muslims in my town has tripled” and never “Ms Nasri had twins, and she tentatively says she might want to raise them as Muslims”.

“Tripled” just has this special ring to it, OK?

I mean, I sort of do understand that you would want to speculate about fundamentalists when people are murdered: this is what fundamentalists do, it’s not unreasonable to suspect they would be involved, somewhere, pulling all the strings. I just don’t see how the adjective preceding “fundamentalists” should ever matter: they are all the same. Once the enemy is the enemy, once the enemy is the enemy of the Truth, once you start thinking, it’s OK to kill them, I’d be saving innocent souls, or, it’s OK to kill them, it’s not like they’re living human beings anyway, they’re just whores, once you think that way, it doesn’t matter at all whether the imaginary friend you kill or want to kill all those people for is called “Adad” or “God” or “Allah”, because he’s imaginary anyway, and people might die anyway. This is it.

But when you mention the doubling and tripling and quadrupling of brown-skinned people and when you mention things like “attack on the West”:

British security forces were immediately placed on alert amid fears that Norway’s worst terrorist outrage might be the first in a series of attacks on the West. The carnage followed repeated warnings that al-Qaeda was planning a Mumbai-style attack on countries involved in the war in Afghanistan, where Norway has about 500 troops.

I’m just more and more disinclined to be a part of that West with you anymore, OK? We’re incompatible, this was doomed to failure from the start.

But then, you might discover the terrorist attacks had nothing to do with Ms Nasri and her twins and her awful lawn that you hate so much, nothing to do with it at all, and all the doubleds and tripleds you researched so thoroughly were all a waste of effort, because the (as of yet: alleged) terrorist is white as snow and hates Ms. Nasri and her twins even more than you do, even though he’s probably never seen her lawn (so awful). Do not despair! This is only a temporary obstacle on your path towards greatness and a Pulitzer. You can still make it.

You might say that the alleged attacker might have well hated Muslims, but he was really inspired by Muslim fundamentalists. Alternative strategy is to downplay the terrorist factor: the attacker was not a Muslim fundamentalist, therefore he was not a fundamentalist at all. Christian fundamentalists simply don’t count. They’re not fundamentalists: they’re just “firm believers”. Or “really devout people”, or “people whose views I respect even though I disagree” or “people whom I really respect for voicing their opinions, even if they’re so controversial and politically incorrect”. Make sure that your readers are not reminded what the controversial views actually are, because if they know, they might be disgusted. They might remember that real, actual people, their family and friends and neighbours, are hurt by those opinions and people who hold them and the power they have.

Don’t call the attack “a terrorist attack”. “Terrorism” is such a strong word: a word that is not blue-eyed and blond. Call it a “killing spree”, “a massacre” might also be all right, if you want your readers to get all regretful and teary-eyed. Don’t worry, your readers will totally agree with you.

Remember: whatever you write, the victims are still dead, so you might as well write complete bullshit. It won’t bring the dead back to life, either, but it might make you feel better about yourself.

The alleged attacker is not a Muslim, and therefore not a terrorist, we’ve already covered that. Just go for “mentally ill” then, instead! After all, the world is full of mad, crazy, mentally ill people who kill other people all the time. It’s like, you open a newspaper, and bam, there it is, “depressed woman kills a whole village”, “social phobia guy burns a housing estate”, “OCD college student robs a bank”. Everyone knows that it’s the mental illness that makes mentally ill people do awful things, and it’s precisely the apt social commentary like that that’ll get you this bloody Pulitzer one day.

And anyway, it’s sort of indicative of a mental illness, when a terrorist dude has the gall not to be a Muslim. I mean, your entire article, 500 words of hard work and sweat and tears, could be completely wasted. It’s just not acceptable.

Do more of this apt social commentary thing. I mean, it’s totally the thing these days. Write something like “another defeat  of multiculturalism looms in Norway as white people fail to adapt to modern Western democratic values. The Prime Minister suggests a revaluation of the long-term policy might be in order”.

Go for it, just go for it.  Baby, I know you can do it.

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The squirrel run off. It just couldn’t bear it anymore.

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Thanks to Veln for the sentence about multiculturalism, I totally stole it <3<3<3, and on a non-sarcastic note, I hate humanity, and why do you always disappoint why

(Because I have to take a break. Pshaw, internet forms, pshaw. Especially if they’re really stupid pdfs that need to be filled out FAIL and sent to like five different secretaries HUMANITY WHAT’S WRONGH WITH YOU *HATES*)

1. Hipster racism – I think this post very articulately sums up what people like Amanda Palmer do.

2. Female astronauts! PRETTY!

3. Goerge Takei in uniform, Brad Altman in a tinfoil, uh, headdress.

It was the tinfoil that totally sold the vid to me.

4. No aliens at Area 51. WO must be terribly disappointed (hurr hurr).

5.  10 Dinge die Sie nicht tun sollten beim Gottesdienst (Ten things you shouldn’t do during a mess)

5, 7, 8 = cool, but the transphobia in 6, not so much.

(Incidentally, this is the first vid that pops out if you search YT for “Gottesdienst”, hurr hurr)

6. Hilarious April Fool’s posts:

6a. by CERN:

“It’s awful”, explains Alain Grand, still shocked by the discovery. “It left horrible tracks inside the detector that made the physicists on duty at the time feel quite sick”.

6b.  via Language Log, the best story of the year: Doctorow and Stross to Write Authorized Sequel to Atlas Shrugged

“But then we realized that both of us shared one important trait with Ayn Rand: all three of us really, really like money. That made it much easier for Cory and I to cash the seven figure check.”

Hurr hurr hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

6c. Silent no longer.

7.  A very insightful post about framing reading books as a moral issue. While I dislike books like the Twilight series as the next sentient person, I also believe that arguing that they ARE BAD FOR THE CHILDRUNZ will get us nowhere. I mean, when you’re a 11 year old, you simply don’t notice stuff like sexism they way you notice it, say, even ten years later. I mean, I do know I would have hated Twilight even as a 11-year old, but only because it was boring, also romance, also boring.  I was into Tolkien and Philip K. Dick when I was 11.

(OTOH, I think Justine Larbalesier goes on a crusade against strawmen when she argues that the issue of reading versus going to play outside is some sort of a problem. I seriously doubt there are parents telling their kids to not go outside to play BECAUSE BOOKS. C’mooooooon)

8. The “new written language” thing everybody and their cousin’s talking about. Seems like a load of bullshit to me, haven’t had the chance to look at the actual paper yet, though.

Guys! It’s morning.

I can tell it’s morning because I’ve only had two coffees, and therefore, the pesky clocks showing me it’s actually 3.12 pm can go and tick arrogantly somewhere else. But I digress!

It’s morning, 26 March 2010. This means an artist called Lady Gaga is currently very popular. Because of my continuing disinterest  in anything that isn’t awful, Petula Clark, more awful, and more awful than Petula Clark, I’m only vaguely aware that Lady Gaga is sort of pretty and wears pretty outfits.

But I digress.

The fact that Lady Gaga is popular means that people who aren’t me noticed her, too. It is actually sort of the point of the whole popularity thing. Some of those people are also much more interested in music than I am.

This can be achieved very easily.

But I digress.

One of those people is Amanda Palmer.  Amanda Palmer is a second-rate alternative (?) starlet who allegedly makes music. She would like to be Tori Amos, but can’t, because only Tori Amos can be Tori Amos. She would also like t be Lady Gaga, but can’t, so she goes for the second best thing, which is: being more edgy than Lady Gaga thus:

This is Amanda Palmer, spreading misinformation about how to be edgy. This is because she secretly wants her potential competitors to come off as gigantic bog-dwelling asswads

A brief analysis of Amamnda Palmer’s insightful tweet can show us two things:

1) She feels strongly about product placement.

2) She feels that her opinion about product placement needs to be expressed with a very poor metaphor that is in fact extremely offensive and upsetting to a lot of people whose friends and families have been killed, injured, threatened and terrorised by the members of the Klan over a period of many years. The metaphor is upsetting and offensive because none of those people, their friends, and families have ever been killed, injured, threatened and terrorised by product placement for being who they are.

Let me explain this with the aid of visual aids:

This is product placement:

By pasting a gigantic photo of Lavazza coffee I am surreptitiously encouraging you to consume more caffeine. Please note how it doesn’t hurt, injure, kill or terrorise you nor your friends or family.

This is what the Klan does:

Note how there isn’t any product placement involved.

This is a rainbow:

Notice how there is no Amanda Palmer anywhere near it.

Also, sometimes a visual aid is worth more than ten thousand words (warning: images of racist violence)

(I wanted to something completely different, but lost the book with visual aids. Can you believe it?)

Bishop of Homoco, or, in the correct Japanese transcription Honmoku, is the assumed name of possibly Hoffman Atkinson (at least according to S. Kaiser; different theories, however, do exist), who in 1879 published the second edition of the non-existent first edition of Exercises in the Yokohama Dialect. The whole book might have started out as a joke; however,  it soon took on a life of its own, occasionally popping up on internet forums to this day, mostly when the silly Asians need to be made fun of:

The reason it’s so important is that it contains the earliest examples of the “Chinese” pidgin, written in a crappy English transcription, such as:

“Am buy worry arimas?” (<— Anbai warui arimasu? <– Are you be ill?)

orjapanese

Cocoanuts arimas” (<— Kokonotsu arimasu <— It’s be nine)

What a joker. NUH-HUH.

(As a matter of fact, I strongly dislike the sort of HURR DURR humour where you use “foreign” sounding absurd and/or offensive phrases to make fun of a language they’re supposed to imitate. Pfff.

Is there a name for that sort of thing? There might be, and I prefer to label things I prefer to avoid)

ETA: You can read the entire book here.  The formatting seems to be pretty bizarre, though.

(Scan ganked from Baacharu nihongo. Yakuwarigo no nazo by Satoshi Kinsui)

Apologise to us for being abused by us and our friends

Brb, gotta go to a doctor who is 100% sponsored by my taxes, so that I have to pay nothing for the visit.

OH THE HUMANITY

Japan’s way of coping with history is not, and has never been the healthiest one. Just a couple of years ago, a bunch of MPs from the Liberal Democratic Party (<— in Japan, the LDP is *the* crazy right-wing party full of batshit, and also the most successful one) questioned the veracity of the Nanking massacre, while proposing charmingly that:

The group said the fact that the League of Nations in 1938 voted down a Chinese resolution condemning Japan, a resolution which claimed Japanese soldiers slaughtered 20,000 people in Nanjing, was one piece of evidence that no “massacre” took place. (source)

Truth: much like science, it seems indeed to be a popularity contest. NOT.

(Was the US inspired by that when they started voting on civil liberties? We will never know)

Also:

“We believe that by China removing them, we can push ahead with true Japan-China friendship for the 21st century.” (source)

Ouch. The LDP’s definition of “friendship” is very Gorean. Somehow. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be friends with them, really.

Anyway, all things considered, it should come as no surprise that the portrayal of Chinese people in the media tends from time to time to be not exactly positive, or, to put it bluntly dehumanizing. I’ll just focus on one thing – the language – because to write about everything (like the stereotype of fat Chinese mafioso-cum-businessman) would take too much time, and also most likely several hundred thousand words, and also because it’s the easiest for me, as a linguist.

Anyway, it seems that at least since the first Sino-Japanese war, Chinese people have been frequently portrayed in the popular media, such as manga, B-class novels, anime, etc as speaking a ridiculous pidgin. At first, it seems, Western people would also be portrayed as speaking a  simplified form of Japanese, but this very soon changed (well, mostly). The stereotyped “Chinese”-Japanese has two main characteristics:

1) The use of the plain form of the verb “aru” at the end of every sentence that is not interrogative (which is grammatically incorrect, and also, grammatically incorrect)

2) The use of the adjective “yoroshii/yoroshi” at the end of every interrogative sentence. It can be translated as “OK?” or “right?”, and also in absolutely incorrect.

Exhibit 1, Dr Suranpu v. 5 page 173 (first written in early eighties, meaning, this is relatively fresh):

(All pidgin-like grammatical forms are underlined)

(right to left)

1. Ko- konchiwa. Watachitachi-

(Hu-hullo. We… <— plus, all “chi” should be “shi”s)

2. Kondo hikkochite kita Tsun-ikke aru. Yoroshiku ne.

(Family Tsun, just moved be. Nice to meet you <— plus the “chi” in “hikkochite” should be “shi”)

3. Hikkoshi pan aru ne.

(Just-moved-bread be, right?)

A very very old, and also doubly racist (blackface, anyone?) example from a really terrible, and also really popular manga, Norakuro. According to my sources(1) the manga started innocuously enough, but soon progressed to more militaristic topics, with the main character, the dog called Norakuro, serving in the army in a “fierce dog brigade” (mouken-tai) and fighting with pigs, which are clearly meant to represent the Chinese.

The following page depicts Norakuro accidentally stumbling upon smugglers selling weapons to native pirates (who also speak a pidgin-like Japanese):

(right to left, top-down)

1. (Norakuro, the main character, speaks correct Japanese)

Hahaa, buki ya danyaku o dojin ni uru no dana. Furachi na yatsura da.

(Huuuh, they’re selling guns and ammo to the locals. Dirty scoundrels!)

2. Zenbu de nijuuman en da. (Together, 200 000 yen <— note how the white smugglers actually speak proper Japanese)

3. Takai aru. Makeru aru. (Expensive be. Lose be)

4. Makaran yo. (You won’t lose)

5. Teppou bakudan takusan aru na. (That’s a lot of bullets)

6. Shuuchou, katte kimashita ze. (We bought it <— to the chieftain, uses the title)

7. Kayakuko he shimatte oke. (Put in the powder magazine <— the chieftain and “locals” use normal language when talking to each other)

Below, the interactions of the pig army, disorganised and cowardly.

(right to left, top to bottom)

1. Moukengun ha tetsudoumou wo norikoete kita. Mou sugu koko he kuru aru zo. (The Fierce Dog Brigade took over the railway network. They here soon be.)

2. Yarareta. (We’re in trouble)

3. Yatsu bari se no takai no hatama ga yoku ataru aru yo. (It easy to shoot tall people like them be, though <— backhanded compliment = tall = a very good thing)

4. Nigehajimetara dare ga tomete mo dame aru yo. (If we start to escape someone might stop us, wrong be)

5. Moukengun ha tetudoumou wo norikoete kita kara- (Because the Fierce Dog Brigade took over the railway…)

6. Norikoete kuru tokoro [print too tiny to read] de utsu yoroshi. Naze nigeru ka. (Shoot them with [too hard to read] while they’re there, right? Why escape?)

7. Kono gunchi toraretara make aru zo. Modore. (If the capture this place, we lose be. Go back)

8. Utte mo makeru ni kimatteru. (Even if we shoot we’ll lose)

9. Sonna wakaranai taichou ha yattsukeru yoroshi. (We beat up a dumb captain like that, right?)

10. Kora taichou no iu koto kikan ka? (Haven’t heard what the captain said?)

11. Kono aida ni nigedase. (We’ll escape soon)

12. Mukou no gunchi ga anzen aru yo. (The land over there safe be)

Charming, really. And, for the coup de grace, the freshest example, from 2000. Axis Powers Hetalia is a mind-numbingly dumb, racist manga chock-full of racist/xenophobic stereotypes featuring a bunch of anthropomorphized countries, and, basically, while my sentiments towards it can succinctly summed up with a  BURN IT WITH FIRE, it also unsurprisingly contains the racist Chinese pidgin. Below, the interactions os Russia (the blond guy) and China (the not-blond guy), pidgin-like forms underlined:

Classy, really classy.

(Most of this material is from the Satoshi Kinsui’s book. The Hetalia strip was recovered online)

(1) Satoshi Kinsui, Baacharu nihongo. Yakuwarigo no nazo.

1. If at 14 you believe you’re ready to have children, you are of course wrong.

However, if ten or even twenty years later you persist in your delusion  belief  that you were ready to have children at 14? You are totes not ready to have children still.

Hilary Mantel thinks you should be popping out children at 14, which is, like, absolutely not influenced by her being infertile and unhappy about it. Oh, I do realise it must be a terrible tragedy for her, but for some people? Getting pregnant at the age 14 is, too.

(Pity she’s such a douche, her books seem like something I could pick up when my brain needs several days in a semi-enjoyable stand-by mode)

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2. How (Not) to Write About Africa. (Un?)surprisingly some of those boring, offensive, ridiculous, dehumanizing tropes still persist. Also, an audiovisual aid for those less willing to read (there’re no Morning Musume in there, I promise!):

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3. NHK website about hikikomori (wiki on hikikomori). I just want to say, at first I snickered at the irony of NHK of all places having a website about hikikomori stuff, then I got sucked in and spent about two hours reading through the FAQ (STATISTICS!!!!!!!!11!1!!).

It’s in Japanese, though.

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4. Shakesville post about rape culture. I just want to say, I’m sooooooo happy I don’t have to write it.

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5. How to sell your snake oil thing, or any kind of woo, really. Should be read together with any of Orac’s excellent posts about woomeisters always blaming the patient.

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6. I’ll freely and nonchalantly admit I only discovered it about a week ago: English without non-Germanic words, aka Uncleftish Beholding. I will also admit that my brain tells me to visualise “uncleftish” every time I hear/see the (non) word.

Suffering ensues.

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7. An interesting article about the cancer that is killing vampire fiction like you could kill the cancer that is vampire fiction with a different cancer hurr durr Twilight and cultural appropriation. What it lacks is a mention of the problematic portrayal of Quileute in the books (ahahahahaha, BOOKS AHAHAHAHA) in the first place, but this can be easily found with the help of Google and some resourceful typing.

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8. The crazy terrorist anti-tax guy who crashed into an IRS office is being white-washed by his daughter thus:

Asked whether she considered her father a hero, Stack’s adult daughter, Samantha Dawn Bell, said during a telephone interview broadcast Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “Yes. Because now maybe people will listen.” But she stressed that his actions were “inappropriate.”

The catch: the daughter lives in Norway. NORWAY! One would think a greedy sociopath tax protester could find a better place to live than Norway:

– The basic tax rate is 28 % of the net income. The social security contribution is 7,8 % of the gross income. Therefore, the total tax rate rarely exceeds 36 %. However, on gross income exceeding NOK 456.400 (relevant as of salary grade 60) a surtax (toppskatt) of 9 % is levied. On gross income exceeding NOK 741.700 (relevant as of salary grade 82) a surtax of 12 % is levied. (source)

Seriously.

(Btw, the income tax is not all the tax that an individual has to pay in Norway. There’s also the so-called wealth tax, so in many cases you’d have to pay much moar)

(Mmmm, taxes  <3)

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9. I discovered Vox Day(1), the most odious person and at the same time the most pretentious cretin on the internets. Seriously. I expect to have time to make fun of him properly soon.

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In other news, I’ve been hearing rumours about late (as in, in June) spring in Poland this year. I might have to reconsider my spring break plans.

Also, wisdom tooth is a whore.

(1) Bad pun is  bad, especially as “dei” is totes not pronounced like that.