October 26, 2005
I'm sick and tired of people picking on Condoleezza Rice for not being black enough. Powerline
cuts to the core of a very depressing and demeaning op-ed about how Rice just doesn't get it. According to Eugene Robinson, she was too busy playing the piano to understand racism, and she lives in this Fantasy World where people are judged by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, which apparently is a bad thing.
Last night I caught an episode of The Chappelle Show that I'd never seen before. It included a "race draft", a humorous take on sports drafts where different races chose multi-racial people to belong to their group. (For example, Tiger Woods was drafted by the black race, defining him once and for all as black.) When the white group came to the podium, they drafted Colin Powell. The black race said they'd negotiate a trade: they'd throw in Condoleezza if they could have Eminem.
I know it's just a joke, but it's a shame there's an element of truth to it. It's sad commentary that the black race would rather embrace Eminem than Rice and Powell, two of the most educated and powerful people on the planet.
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It's a sad day indeed when an American woman in a position of power is picked at because she's not black enough. They could just pick on her for going against the NAFTA agreement with her policies and ideas, for example.
Posted by: Julie at October 26, 2005 11:26 AM (w7n+v)
Sounds like a good trade to me, we get Condi & they can have Eminem !!!
Posted by: DougFunnie at October 26, 2005 01:16 PM (WT0qS)
Most young white people prefer Eminem too, let's remember. I don't have much use for him, but I did download Mosh from iTunes.
Posted by: Pericles at October 27, 2005 07:49 AM (EpPuP)
I agree, it is sad that many young black Americans don't take more interest in politics and think that Condi and Colin are sell-outs. I for one do not agree with that at all. I'd claim them both any day....
Of course, I don't think I'm considered young anymore...much less black, per Dave Chapelle's voting game. LOL!
Posted by: Vonn at October 31, 2005 05:48 PM (dEgRi)
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October 22, 2005
Amritas writes about how the need for a foreign language can be an indicator of success (I'm really oversimplifying his post
here; it's much more interesting in its entirety). One of my friends emailed me last week. We haven't talked in a while, which became obvious to me when she said, "I imagine your German's probably awesome by now!"
Before I moved here, I couldn't understand how people could be stationed in Germany or Korea and come home not speaking the language. Now I completely understand this. Until you see how a military community operates, it's hard to really imagine it. My Swedish friend bought me a German paperback book as a gift when she came to visit two years ago. At the end of her weekend here, she apologized for giving me the book, saying that she didn't realize how American my life still was, even though I was smack dab in the middle of Europe.
We speak only English all day long. We spend dollars at our stores, where we can buy 110-volt appliances and Region 1 DVDs. My husband and I don't have any German friends except for a few wives, most of whom speak English quite well and sit around moaning about how they'd rather be in Kentucky where they could go to Walmart at 10 PM. We don't need to speak German.
That said, we try to speak it whenever we're out on the town. We do just fine with our restaurant and department store vocabulary. Sometimes we get the Rolled Eye Treatment from German shopkeepers who'd rather conduct business in English anyway, like last weekend when I started giving someone my address in German and she looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. I sighed and repeated the exact same thing in English, at which point she finally wrote it down. The Germans in our area don't want us to speak German, so it's an uphill battle with the girl in the train station who begged, "Can you please just speak English so this will go faster?" when I tried to purchase a train ticket in German.
We're perfectly capable of learning German. I learned French and Swedish just fine, and my husband taught himself basic Arabic, for pete's sake. But the motivation just isn't there, because the reward for speaking German on the economy is rolled eyes and groans. So why bother?
(This is not to excuse those people who rave on and on about how much they loooove living in Europe but don't even bother to learn how to order food from a menu. I hate when we run into those types when we're out on the town. If you want to homestead here permanently and be a Squatter after you retire, then learn freaking German, you boors.)
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It's like that in Korea, too. There are fewer English speakers the farther you get from post, but if you're not the adventurous type, you can get by with just English. I did two tours, a rough total of 2 years, in Korea and I learned a miniscule amount of han-gul. I didn't try hard to learn Korean, but I also didn't try hard not to learn Korean. There just wasn't a compelling reason to learn the language. A soldier can easily spend his year in a highly Americanized environment - think of a Chinese immigrant who lives his entire life in a Chinatown, except all his public services and employment are provided in Chinese, too. And heck, when this immigrant travels away from Chinatown, he even takes an independently functional mini-Chinatown with him.
Tactically speaking, I thought the GIs in Korea should have been strongly encouraged and facilitated by Command to pick up a basic level of Korean and local familiarization. Even in peace-time and 50-plus years of USFK, it's not always easy to operate outside the gates. A troop can get lost and isolated in a hurry, and that's a scary feeling. If we went to war with nK, I could see American ops breaking down quickly at the tactical level with troops not knowing the language, area and people and trying to operate in a chaotic foreign environment.
Posted by: Eric Chen at October 24, 2005 07:04 PM (3Nllw)
I hate it when they start speaking in English on you. I just ignore them and keep speaking German. I took the time to start to learn the language so I am going to use it damn it! I am not perfect at it but at least I try. I work with Germans so I am exposed more to the language and if you want to know if you are being talked about you have to learn some. ;-)
It actually worked well when I was in Czech with a friend and her mom. It was the only mutual language the hotel staff and I knew.
Posted by: Household6 at October 26, 2005 05:33 AM (T+Tkq)
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October 18, 2005
OK, here's what I don't get. The top google hits for a search on Mugabe include the phrases "Zimbabwe strongman", "descent into dictatorship", "people dying in Zimbabwe", and "Mugabe's terror campaign". He's banned from entering the EU, except for when he's invited by the UN, like he was Monday for the 60th anniversary of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. So Mugabe, dictator of a country where "an estimated 3.8 million people" are starving, has this to say
in front of the UN (via LGF):
Mr Mugabe used his speech to lambast President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose governments have been among his severest critics.
"Must we allow these men, the two unholy men of our millennium, who in the same way as Hitler and Mussolini formed [an] unholy alliance, form an alliance to attack an innocent country?" asked Mr Mugabe, apparently referring to Iraq.
"The voice of Mr Bush and the voice of Mr Blair can't decide who shall rule in Zimbabwe, who shall rule in Africa, who shall rule in Asia, who shall rule in Venezuela, who shall rule in Iran, who shall rule in Iraq," he said.
And what did the UN do after he went on this tirade that had nothing to do with feeding the hungry?
Some delegates to the Rome meeting applauded Mr Mugabe's condemnation of the Western leaders on several occasions during his speech and then at the end.
So a real life dictator goes to the UN to call Bush and Blair dictators? And people clap? The UN is such a joke.
Hey, Mugabe. Maybe you'd better look at your own tactics before you start pointing dictator fingers at others. I'd say "using violence and murder as an electoral strategy" is a far cry from Bush and Blair. But hey, you seem to fit in fine with the Oil For Food crowd.
Please, can we just end this charade that is the UN?
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WTF happened to those guys to skew their perspective so much? I am so sick of them catering to total sh*ts...I mean, compared to the PM of Italy, Bush is a pussycat. I mean, that guy just keeps on changing laws to avoid getting indicted, um, changed a law about needing certain majorities for decisions...um, owns a media concern so he can make his own publicity. And then, let's see...then there is Chirac, or Jacques Iraq, as the Iraqis called him under Saddam. Oh, and he extended an invite to Mugabe last time. And those guys think they can criticize Bush and Blair...seeing the splinter in someone else's eye, but not noticing the log in your own? I think the rest of the world can be thankful that those guys aren't presiding over America or England.
The UN is a total farce.
Posted by: CaliValleyGirl at October 18, 2005 05:50 AM (7vNDT)
hey sarah finaaly we agree on something.those clowns in midtown are looking for a paycheck and a night out on the upper east side.in all fairness their humanitarian efforts and their abilitily to co-ordinate"some" elections they have done fairly well.their "peacekeeping missions" are a total joke.these dudes couldn't break up a bar fight in the ghetto much less lead a country back to stability.just look at east timor for openers.
Posted by: tommy at October 18, 2005 08:39 AM (NMK3S)
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October 09, 2005
We watched the movie Crash
last night. It was horrifying.
I went into this movie blind: the only thing I knew about it was that people thought it was good. I didn't realize that the entire thing was about race. And boy do I mean it was about race. Everything the characters say and do is racially motivated. Every scene is about race. The bottom line in this movie is that we're all racists.
Am I really too naive? I thought this movie was completely unrealistic. I'm sorry, but the DA's advisor is simply not going to mutter "f-ing black people" to a black detective. No way, no how. I'm not denying that we haven't all felt ourselves in these characters' shoes at one point or another, but the downright racist things they utter in every scene are over the top; people just don't talk openly like that. A white man might inwardly grumble about affirmative action, but he's not going to openly belittle the black woman working for the HMO.
I was disappointed with this movie because I had high hopes, and we don't rent movies that often. But I just can't enjoy a program where I hate all the characters, and the only guy I could stand in this movie was the locksmith.
I've never been to LA -- maybe LA is from Mars and the Midwest is from Venus -- but this can't be real life. People just don't think about race every waking second.
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I haven't seen this movie yet. But I will say that living near 2 cities Camden NJ/Philadelphia, race does color a lot of things in our lives. It sucks but that's the reality.
Posted by: Mare at October 09, 2005 09:44 AM (KmNMw)
I agree. This movie is the most unrealistic thing I have ever seen. Being an Asian person, I have heard things like chinks and fobs (I mean not derrogatively towards me, just in general), but chinaman is very 19th century.
And I am from Los Angeles. And yes, a lot of things run on race and race tesion is common occurence (black gangs shooting random Latinos/as, high school riots started by tension between Iranian and Latino population, etc.). But people don't talk like that at all. You're right: a person for example might start a speech about the laziness of this so-and-so group, but he won't do it in a highly academic way (apparently considered to be more "honest") like the people in the movie were doing.
And I think to have such a pessimistic bottom line ultimately made the movie unbearable to me. It even seems like the movie was satisfied on seeing everyone as racist, not really offering any solution. The movies suggests that really, all we can do is accept the fact that we're all racist. If there's a better example of defeatism, then I don't know what it is.
Posted by: John at October 09, 2005 10:47 AM (enIP4)
You're right, John: it was a total downer. I thought Million Dollar Baby was depressing as all get out, but this topped even that.
Posted by: Sarah at October 09, 2005 11:38 AM (nAyfW)
How about Irishman, Welshman, megook [asian term for American] Okie, Redneck, Yank, et al.
There is survival value in being mistrustful of strangers or obvious members of other tribes. If this distrust is so strong that in makes you incapable of dealing with strangers, it is your loss. Once everyone burns their guilt string we can get on with it.
Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 10, 2005 05:16 PM (wDJE+)
Google "failure" and laugh!
Posted by: jorge at October 10, 2005 07:42 PM (6jb0d)
First - The phrase we use to describe any cinematic or literary experience is "willing suspension of disbelief".
Next - The film is intended to get folks to think about and talk about racism on a number of different levels: individual, systemic, political, relational. It does this.
Also - It's the best screenplay of the year, with more incisive lines (not realistic, you concrete thinking art-noobs, but incisive).
Next to Last - A lot of people have trouble with movies where they can't identify someone they can relate to. You're not alone in this. But this film is not intended for an escapist audience.
Last - Stick with movies you're more comfortable with, I guess. Or just go to documentaries that you feel you can trust.
Posted by: Screwy Hoolie at October 10, 2005 11:28 PM (i8pEI)
I too rented this over the weekend. I found the movie sad more than anything. There were some elements though that I have seen in daily life.
On Matt Dillon's character being mad at the HMO rep - that tends to be a little generational. When afirmative action came into play some folks were not using it correctly and used it as a quota system. That's what he was mad at, the fact that eventhough his dad had an almost entire black staff it wasn't considered a minority company. He was against jobs being taken away because of race versus a job based on merit.
Secondly, in the past there have been some problems in LA with racial profiling. The LAPD are in a hard spot, if you question the kids dressed like teenagers and they are black or hispanic are you being racist or are you just following statistics? It's not an easy place to be and they have had to fire a few folks who crossed the line in a rather bad manner.
Lastly, the hispanic man's story is one I actually hear from some military folks. Yes they may have been gang members but they were trying to get away from that life and start fresh. He was being treated poorly by the DA's wife for crimes he may have already served his time for. This can happen to inmates regardless of their race.
Some of the dialogue was a bit much. I don't think a DA's assistant would get away with being so smug and nasty in his speech. And overall it was a little over the top in what they were trying to bring across.
I did find the Sandra Bullock enlightenment to be interesting. She realized she had only superfical friends and her trusted friend to help in time of need was her housekeeper.
So there were some real ideas and some far fetched ones. The ending just made me bawl and was a kick in the gut.
Posted by: Household6 at October 11, 2005 06:31 AM (T+Tkq)
I don't disagree that there were some interesting issues raised by the movie. My husband liked it more than I did, so we talked about it a lot. I know that white people grumble about affirmative action, that men with tattoos aren't always what they seem, and that Sandra Bullock's character was interesting. I just think they kinda beat a dead horse with the race theme. I know LA has problems that Peoria, IL, doesn't, but aren't they used
to seeing different races by now and getting over it? Does everyone really see life through Racism Goggles all the time? I know it's supposed to be a movie and it's not 100% Real Life, but it just seemed to be too much to me.
Posted by: Sarah at October 11, 2005 08:02 AM (MPq6B)
it's on my netflix queue, i'll have to move it up.
Being from the Bay Area, and having lived in SF and LA, i have to defend LA a little. People think it's some sort of racist city because of Rodney King and the riots, etc. But in SF there are definitely neighborhoods where black folks know they shouldn't go if they don't want to get hassled. Not so in LA, which is pretty well integrated compared to that beacon of tolerance, SF.
Posted by: annika at October 12, 2005 11:37 AM (jBxHX)
I hate to break it to you, but most of us do have racial biases. You are lying to your self and to your readers if you believe otherwise. It's an empirical fact!
Posted by: you are in denial at October 14, 2005 02:23 AM (NWI1G)
Sadly Sarah, some people do regardless of their location. I agree I think this was a "Hollywood" version to illustrate a point. That's why I could only pull out a few points that I could agree on. I can really only see a few instances in the movie that happened to me or have touched me in my life somehow. I guess I would be more concerned if they had played it off as a documentry.
Like Annika I too grew up in the Bay Area (East Bay) & my brother has lived in LA for over 10 years. There are prejudice people no matter where you go. If you are lucky you cultivate friends that aren't so closed minded. I've had male friends who were not gay but were walking back to their car and had rocks thrown at them in SF - it was assumed that they were gay. While outside of Japantown my friends & I went to a liqour store to buy beer and I was called a "snowbunny." The snowbunny thing was funny to me at least (can't say about my friends). There are stupid people everywhere - I had a point to this paragraph but I think it got lost...
As for "denial" guy - I never said I was perfect nor that I was completely free from bias. I don't think that anyone can say they are completely free of bias - BUT I ensure that I try to give everyone I meet a chance. I don't just dimiss them mentally & automatically based on race. You usually have to do me wrong before I dismiss you or mistreat my family.
Posted by: Household6 at October 14, 2005 04:44 AM (T+Tkq)
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October 08, 2005
I was too young to watch Dallas
, but thanks to the magic of DVDs, I've been enjoying that bit of TV history. I mentioned to my husband that it's interesting how simple
the plotlines are. To a generation raised on M. Night Shyamalan and CSI
, the thought that you could base an hour of TV around "Jock has a heart attack" seems amazing. Dallas
is not boring by any means, but it's sure not fast-paced TV like we're used to.
My husband told me about the pending movie plans for Dallas. I had no idea this was in the works, but now that I know the characters, I certainly can't see Brad Pitt as Ray Krebbs! My friend and I were talking the other day about how the idea of beauty shifts over time. We remarked that Charlene Tilton would never have been cast as Lucy today, because by today's standards she's fat. Even though she's not fat at all; she's voluptuous and womanly. I was grossed out to find that they're thinking of casting Lindsey Lohan as Lucy for the movie. Maybe Lohan circa 2004, but not now. There's just no way I'd choose this
when Lucy's supposed to look like this
Give me a curvy, thicky-thick Lucy any day. And a JR who looks like Travolta.
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"I was too young to watch Dallas" ... blasphemy; I'm younger than you and I grew up on the stuff. Right now I'm humming the theme song and reminiscing about JR Ewing.
Speaking of younger than you; you've got ANOTHER birthday coming up, so here it is: happy birthday!
Posted by: Curtis at October 08, 2005 08:59 AM (CkEXN)
Well, they say the camera adds ten pounds...
But seriously, the womanly figure appears to be making a comeback. Consider how widely Lindsay Lohan was tut-tutted for her recent radical weight loss -- and how pleased the comments have been that she's allowed her figure to rebuild itself these past two months.
Among the most attractive women in the world are many that the modeling agencies would never give a second look. It is to laugh.
Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at October 08, 2005 09:10 AM (PzL/5)
At last we agree, Sarah. I saw a lot of Dallas because my Mom always had it on. I don't remember how old I was, but I was definitely aware that Charlene Tilton was hot.
Posted by: Pericles at October 08, 2005 09:29 AM (EpPuP)
I'm with Sarah on this one.
Posted by: Kalroy at October 10, 2005 01:45 AM (9RG5y)
This was a big highlight of our Friday evenings to watch Dallas after we had put your husband to bed. To all who read Sarah...be sure and wish her a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I know that this year will be much better than last year. Enjoy your day!!
Posted by: ME at October 10, 2005 11:25 PM (BLL71)
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