The Lava Trolley: March 2007

The Lava Trolley

Or is it the lavatory???

...Either case, this little nook on blogasphere is the natural dumping ground for the sort of crap that erupts
when you find a wee Chink in the Britworks...

But hey, I promise you this is steamingly hot shit...which is probably why it's all looking a bit brown!

 

22 March 2007

We Are All Racists

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Paki, Nigger, Chink, Jap - All the colours of the ethnic rainbow...No, wait, there's a shade missing here. I do believe we're one offensive term short of the proverbial crusade.

Pick out one time when describing someone as a Brit instead of British has made front-page headlines. It's not beyond the pale to use terms like Scots, Danes or Ozzies either. The latter group refers to the English as Poms, but does anyone give a shit?

No.

There are names us Chinkies have called white people for centuries, but not a single Ang Mo muscle has moved to point a gun in our direction on account of this. Not even a catchy campaign slogan, let alone a brick through the window.

There's definitely a case of double-standards going on here.

Shakespeare had it right in Juliet's balcony scene...It's only words, and languages evolve all the time, so why empower these words with your outrage?

A debate on semantics is not only fruitless, it is petty.

Far better to waste your time on something more worthwhile, like growing GM roses that will smell sweeter than the bard's hyperbole...

...Or arguing about whether it is ok to dislike someone because of their cultural background (as opposed to shunning them because of BO).

I suppose the problem with the process of pigeon-holing is that it doesn't make room for individualism. Human nature is complex, and not all products of a certain society will turn out the same. But there are different levels of discrimination, the extreme being abuse. The difficulty is in distinguishing where preference crosses over into prejudice.

Hmmm...I'll take the roses anytime. They're far less complicating...

UPDATED: 03 July 2007 @ 21:30

I know my response isn't the quickest, but this time, I have a pretty good excuse...I don't follow Big Brother.

If this didn't creep down the grapevine, I probably wouldn't even have known what had happened...Rather than start a new entry about something I'd already blogged about, I thought it easier to just plonk my update at the end of this post.

"In an apparent backlash against political correctness,
nearly 1,000 viewers have criticised Channel 4 for
evicting a contestant who used a racially offensive word
on its flagship reality show Big Brother.

The channel kicked out contestant Emily Parr yesterday
for calling another housemate a 'nigger', in what appears
to have been misguided attempt to use street language."

Crude, common and just plain lazy, yes....Offensive, no...race-related or otherwise.

We should really start imposing a fine on people who wave the racist banner around when it isn't appropriate, especially now that most of us have quit smoking...Think how much money we could make!

I'm crawling over old territory here...I seem to keep having this conversation over and over again with friends who disagree with me.

One of the do-gooder's main gripe is that the entire conversation in BB was broadcast (the fact that it was after the watershed makes little difference), as if that should really be an issue in the first place. If someone was truly being abusive, what does it matter how many people view it? Surely this is an issue that concerns everybody?

The argument that it is somehow less excusable because the people Emily was getting chummy with weren't strictly her mates doesn't quite gel with me either. Quite frankly, the very notion that what's said in private among friends carries less significance than something bandied about for all and sunder just smacks of hypocrisy. But then again, perhaps that's just me. Besides, I care less about the reactions of people I hardly know than those who really do matter, such as my friends and family.

I rank 'nigger' on the same level as text-speak and street-lingo. Some words just roll off the tongue more easily than others (eg. 'bog' vs 'toilet'). Still, whichever way you look at it, street-talk could never be described as sophisticated or elegant. 'Nigger' is probably not the wisest choice of words to use if you're trying to make a good impression, such as during a job interview (or say, a contest that's being shown live nationwide).

Emily Parr may need some vocabulary enrichment lessons, but to brand her a racist is the outside of extreme.

I wonder if C4's reaction would have been the same if she had called somebody 'stupid' instead. I'm pretty sure that, in the great scheme of things, worse material has been publicised on TV. Once again, the bias seems to lie on the side of UK ethnic minorities. Awhile back, a documentary exploring racism in the British-Chinese community was attacked because its makers had the audacity to name it The Missing Chink...Nevermind that the title was meant to be ironic. And yet, nary a squeak was elicited after C4's Ghosts was aired, despite obvious derogatory meaning behind the term.

And god forbid if anything were to contain the N-word (or equivalent)!


Racial slurs tend to 'de-weaponize' as language continues to evolve. By constantly acknowledging their negative connotations, we allow words to become stuck with them. The best way to deal with this sort of thing is to ignore the so-called transgression, like you would a spoilt child's tantrums.

Black slavery belongs to the distant past, so let's leave it there, along with all associated forms and practices. It's now history...Deal with it already.

Related Articles:
Viewers Angered by Big Brother Eviction

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21 March 2007

Terracotta?

MortgageServicing

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of Blackpool, but once you're inside and the door's shut on the world, it matters very little what goes on out there.

We have, at long last, got ourselves on the first rung of the property ladder. The purchase in question is a three-bedroom semi-detached house in the Bispham area. I never thought this day would come...But here we are, standing on polished wooden floors, looking through glass patio doors at a pretty garden next to a decent-sized garage (soon to be home of a new Mustang GT). We began by renting this place, but we are now only days away from calling all this our very own.

All that remains is the final exchange of paperwork which the solicitors have assured us will happen before Easter. After that, the re-decorating madness can commence. B & Q, here we come!!!

Apart from being elevated to homeowner status, I have also just started writing for an online magazine called Squat. My portfolio will soon be updated to reflect this, but here's a little taster for now.

Photos of our new pad will be uploaded next weekend, so watch this space...

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10 March 2007

Top of the Peeps

25peeps

I've never lasted more than 24 hours on this thing, nevermind days, so this is a bit of a surprise to me...Still, is it all just eye-candy, or is there anyone reading this at all?

How much you wanna bet I'll be knocked off in a couple of days?

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