Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Of Tweets and Twats

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  • Danielle,

    Snerk.

    Heh. Earlier this morning I thought 'I must write a "snerk" in response to Amy's post'. But then I forgot. Are you my institutional memory, Lucy?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Are you my institutional memory, Lucy?

    That or your evil twin, apparently.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    That or your evil twin, apparently.

    Normal people don't have those.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3423 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Dyan, I'm intrigued. How did the Inuit get to do that for the Yupik, who are Eskimo but not Inuit and don't want to be called Inuit? Were the Yupik there?

    I don't know how many attended, but they would certainly have had representation.

    The Central Alaskan Yup'ik are by far the most numerous group of Yupik. The Central Alaskan Yup'ik who live on Nunivak Island call themselves Cup'ig (plural Cup'it). Those who live in the village of Chevak call themselves Cup'ik (plural Cup'it).

    Those apostrophes represent that pretty cracked consonant sound that is so common in North American languages. It's a nice sounding language.

    Part of the problem with the word "Eskimo" or "Esquimaux" or however it is spelled, is that it is French in origin and is extremely offensive to the people that it is used to describe. Or so my Inuit friends tell me, anyway.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    I once worked with a Canadian who regularly wore a t-shirt with the slogan "Eat it Raw" emblazoned across the front. The meaning was kind of lost on me, but seemed to afford him endless pleasure.

    That would be a redneck, and the slogan is meant as a slur against Inuit and refers to "eaters of raw flesh". It is also meant as a double entendre, referring to oral sex, which somehow compounds the racial slur. Canada has plenty of rednecks.

    When I first moved to NZ it was a lot more openly racist than it is now - I used to write home complaining I'd moved to "the white kook capital of the world". My (half Chinese) cousin came to visit, and had a different take - that Canada was equally racist, it's just that it was kosher to be racist and out here. She kept getting asked by NZers "where are you really from?"

    Canada is very racist, in its past and under the surface - which is why great pains are taken to talk about "Inuit' and "First Nations" people and why using a derogatory term will be met with icy glares. There have been KKK chapters, wartime internment of Canadian born Japanese, Holocoaust deniers, The RCMP still harass First Nations and Inuit if you live in the wrong neck of the woods.

    My Dad was "rushed" by fraternities when he went to UBC - as a 22 year old veteran with a new wife - and there was a promise that "no Catholics, no Jews and no Chinese" would be allowed to join. They didn't mention "Indians", of course, as they were not exactly a presence at Universities.

    My Mum was a French Metis war vet (RCAF wireless operator) but was spat on by her new neighbours when she and my Dad were first married, as she was mistaken for a Japanese war bride. She did look very Asian...

    Interestingly I worked with someone here who, on learning that my Mum was half Cree said "oh, I suppose she was scarcely literate and quite the drinker then?" which, if you saw what was left of "Indians" in Canada might be a safe, if rather offensive assumption. It could hardly have been further from my Mum, though, who was incredibly well read and thought alcohol the most evil thing on the planet.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    That would be a redneck . . .

    Thanks for that. As it happened, the guy's dad was a clinical psychiatrist. I've no idea what part of Canada he hailed from, but I presume it was a place where even the families of shrinks were card-carrying bogans.

    The RCMP still harass First Nations and Inuit if you live in the wrong neck of the woods.

    And there was me thinking that the mounties spent their time spanking lumberjacks while saying stuff like 'Don't do it again, Pierre,' and sticking pictures of rotten teeth to bottles of maple syrup as mandatory health warnings. Bang goes another kooky stereotype.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3423 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    This is my favourite Beatles song. Waaay before my time, but i like this one, except at those times when you can't work things out, and it's a cruel parody of optimism.

    Since Nov 2006 • 571 posts Report Reply

  • buzzy,

    "Must start self-Googling alternate spellings as well"

    I believe the correct term for Googling one's self is "to Meegle" :)

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I am proud of my stare to this minute

    It is pretty awesome. And I think you're right about words/phrases being of a place and a time. I can't see that Eskimo pies or lollies are any different to the vast array of Maori kitsch that is now pretty collectable - teatowels, ashtrays etc from the 50's and 60's. That was then, this is now. Having said that, what are we to make of this?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Eeeesh Jackie! Are those really meant to be pounemu *nipples*?!

    One of her sisters-in-law once gave my mother a Maori head teatowel
    (Tawhiao!) and my mother politely thanked her and put it away in a drawer...she's never used it for anything, natch- and I was given a moko'd Maori head *candle* when I left the Post Office (back in 1972) which still lurks in it's wrapping somewhere. Couldnt burn it - natch - couldnt throw it away...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    And I think you're right about words/phrases being of a place and a time. I can't see that Eskimo pies or lollies are any different to the vast array of Maori kitsch that is now pretty collectable

    Well, as I said on another thread in reply to a similar comment:

    Can someone explain to me how the use of Eskimo in this context is offensive?

    The word itself is offensive, and deeply so. That people will accept a word that describes their race does not mean the word is not racist in its origin, if not its intent.

    The self-designation of the Eskimos living in northeastern Siberia is yuhyt or yupikhyt, but yupik is not widely spread.
    The terms Eskimo and Asiatic Eskimo date from the end of the 19th century, and were borrowed from US researchers who had adopted the Algonkin name eskimatsik or askimeg meaning "eating raw meat'". The name spread and came into common use in the early 20th century.
    "Coloured" and "Nigra" were both words that were considered polite through the 19th and 20th centuries, but this does not mean people are happy to accept these terms now.
    Until the 1980s the term "cancer victim" was also happily used - until the term "cancer survivor" or "cancer patient" was adopted as it was finally recognised the previous term has a negative effect on the patient's sense of identity.
    My Dad tells me that "Jelly Babies" used to only be licorice or chocolate, and were called 'Nigger Babies" (ten for one cent!) and he used to buy these when he was a child in the 1920s in Canada. To his recollection the name was changed to "Jelly Babies" around 1935 or so, but as he'd stopped buying penny candy by then, he's not sure. He does remember his parents were very disapproving of the term "nigger" and even at 6 or 7 he was quite conscious the name of the candy was unpleasant.
    My oldest sister (born in 1946) can remember the same feeling about "Little Black Sambo" pancake syrup, which was removed from sale sometime in the 1950s. In my own childhood in the 1960s I remember Fritos Cornchips used to sell their product with a cartoon character called "The Frito Bandito" who was supposed to be Mexican - and that this was taken off the air due to pressure from Hispanic groups who found it offensive.

    Russell, I haven't seen "Eskimo Pies" sold in Canada, but that doesn't mean they don't exist, but to sell them would be to invite an ongoing battle. As I've said, racism is still alive and well in Canada.
    The "Edmonton Eskimos" still play football, and they even trot out Inuit dancers before games, but they sure piss off a lot of people.

    So anyone for a handful of Nigger Babies?

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    And what of golliwogs, Dyan? They too are collectable nowadays (sorry Emma, I'm old).

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jackie, the sister next to me had a much-loved golliwog, knitted/constructed by our mother (which is the first time I became aware our mother could plait.) She was red, black, and white & woollen - the golliwog I mean (just in case some of you are thinking I might have Mennym-like ancestry!:P) She was called by my sister "Milly-Molly-Mandy" (there's an ancient kids' book by that name I understand) and she stalwartly, blackly, redly, whitely, saw my sister through some very trying times...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Dyan, we had black babies - to eat. They were jellygums, liquorice & aniseed-flavoured. V. popular in the 1950s....

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    (there's an ancient kids' book by that name I understand)

    It's a series!*

    *I may or may not own Milly-Molly-Mandy Again .

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Danielle - is there any kind of link? A *series*?
    I'd love to send it to the sister next to me (who, like other of my sisters, is a nurse & midwife._

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    It's on Wikipedia! Incredibly.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O WOW!
    While the wiki says nothing about black/white/red golliwogs, ia has so gone to my sister in Australia! Really cool!
    Thanks. librarian! (You are perilously close to joining *the* Librarian - in my books-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    *I may or may not own Milly-Molly-Mandy Again.

    *cough* Ditto. This is getting silly.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4349 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Goodness!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I do recall a childhood copy of Lil Black Sambo..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16586 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Black, inuit, chocolate fish, bunnies, whatever, the big issue for me is still about biting their heads off.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3423 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Savagely.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16586 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And without remorse.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16586 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Well you kinda have to, the Groke, and swallow -or leave wee spat -out heads everywhere

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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