Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Religious appropriation, revisited

Infant of Prague and Sacred Heart of Jesus candles are from my Flickr page.




I have written of religious appropriation before, and how very difficult it is to define. It usually starts some pretty good arguments, so let's get down to business!

I recently discovered someone on Twitter named phyrecracker, who believes Westerners practicing yoga is a racist act. She doesn't simply propose the idea, she endorses it as a fact.

Some of her tweets:

I need 2 say again: if u participate in the fuckery of yoga, our religious practice, Kali Ma will shit on you. Consider yourself warned.[1]
I'd like to c ppl RT that flaming morsel of truth rather than the pretty white smiling families
I'm sure she'll be happy she got a whole blog post, rather than a simple RT (retweet).
[to the woman practicing yoga] last thing: 4 u and any1 else who does this wack ass white ppl yoga know that u cannot achieve inner peace on a basis of racism
sweep the criticism of the Indian under the rug while you go enjoy the religious practice that white ppl steal from us
Hm.

I tried this on for size, to see how it fit...especially with Christmas looming over the horizon:
I need 2 say again: if u participate in the fuckery of Christmas, our religious practice, Mother Mary will shit on you. Consider yourself warned.[2]
Interesting.

Of course, they will then say nothing is authentically Catholic... they will say we "appropriated" Mary from an amalgam of European goddesses, too. But of course, we can continue that particular game back to the beginning of time, can't we?

Who's on First?

I am disturbed by phyrecracker's comments because I actually adhered to some version of them myself once. As I've written before, I briefly passed through a rather hard-core Catholic phase (for me, anyway), during which I became furious when (for example) non-Catholics would listen to Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor... and when atheists or anti-Catholics listened? It would send me through the roof.

And if they actually PLAYED the music, as in, played instruments in an orchestra? LIVID. It enraged me, exactly as phyrecracker is enraged. I felt the appropriation and I felt the disrespect: IT'S A MASS, do you know what a MASS IS? It's a HOLY PRACTICE, THE REAL PRESENCE OF GOD ALMIGHTY... it is not simple entertainment, you fucks! Etc etc etc and I would inevitably hold forth in a most self-righteous fashion. (Dead Air regulars probably have some inkling of what that sounded like.)

And damn, I remember how good that felt.

I often wish I could corral me some good old-fashioned fundamentalist self-righteousness these days... but I seem to be all about compromise. (I always heard this happened when you got old! Shades of GRAY predominate, God help me!) Now, you could play the Requiem Mass in a strip club and I wouldn't raise an eyebrow. (And if the stripper in question was creative enough to DRESS like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? I'd likely enjoy it myself.)

Seriously, though... at least once every Christmas season I am somewhat peeved when I see non-Christians singing OUR songs and participating in OUR holiday. [3]

But you know, that's how it is in our global times; I don't assume everyone who eats Halloween candy is a pagan. I don't assume everyone who participates in Thanksgiving dinner, believes the accompanying just-so story about pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down to a common meal together, giving thanks to God/Great Spirit. I don't assume everyone who paints Easter eggs is pagan OR Christian. Some of them just want to paint eggs. The egg-painting has no additional meaning if the person painting them is simply doing this for the kids' Easter egg hunt. Playing Beethoven, Bach, Schubert and other classical music originally written for the Church, does not make you a Christian. Even though this music was created as part of Mass/Eucharistic Adoration/Benediction, most musicians nowadays (and certainly, most musicians in non-Western countries) play these pieces of music while not fully understanding what they are for and what they represent. And they can play them VERY WELL. Likewise, one can practice Yoga asanas without being religious too.

One can strike yoga poses, like musical notes, with no understanding, and still reach the desired goal. To the religious person, it may not seem exactly fair, but it is indeed so.

And does phyrecracker take December 25th off or eat candy canes? If so: How dare she participate in the fuckery of Christmas.

As one of my favorite Bible verses says, there is not one righteous, no, not one.

And what are your thoughts?



~*~



1) Kali Ma refers to the Hindu Goddess Kali.

2) A friend reading over this post offers the observation that Kali tends to be an avenging sort, while the Blessed Mother is not. In reply, I offer the fact that Mary has morphed to suit various purposes throughout the ages, including (a close second to Kali) Our Lady of Victory, popularized by scary Simon de Montfort during the Crusades.

3) Certain traditional hymns can set me off, such as Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming or O come, O come, Emmanuel--both of which seem almost blasphemous in a shopping-mall setting. Any time I hear them outside of Church? Makes me ineffably sad.

54 comments:

sheila said...

Wow! That's scary and sad all rolled into one. Huh! To me, I could care less who participates in what. In the long run I dont think who does what or sings what or prays what is going to matter. I believe that it's much deeper than reading a book, singing a hymn, contributing weekly. It's about the inner self.

As long as you are developing your self and you're a good person and are learning something here...I'm pretty sure God doesn't care what religion you say you are.

As for yoga. Hmmmm, lol. I practice it because it relaxes me and opens me up. I don't see the Indian culture as having a lock on it. In fact I'd bet most of them would embrace sharing it.

Wow, this is a wild post.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sheila: Wow, this is a wild post.

I'll take that as a high compliment! :D

Rootietoot said...

Cultures evolve by appropriating bits from other cultures. It's a growth process. Imitation is the finest form of flattery.

prefer not to say said...

her blog makes it clear she's a jew hater. random sample of hate speech from a vicious post about a well-known (jewish) leftist activist~~

Her Jewish-ass be travelling to Palestine

as a white middle class Jewish womyn she feels that no revenue stream should be inaccessible to her so she capitalizes on a constructed oppressed identity of a Jewish person standing in opposition to the genocide of Palestinians.


"revenue stream" = greedy Jewish fucks

(if she did nothing she'd be hated for that too)

Her and her manager are Jewish people who directly profit off of the suffering of Palestinians

greedy Jewish fucks reprise

the likes of --- and other prominent Jewish “radicals”

quotes "" means they are false (sneaky, lying) radicals, not pure of heart ones like she is.
one jew dares to ask in comments: “Does it matter that she and her manager are Jewish?”

hater replies: i think it is important that her and her manager are Jewish.

of course she does. get a clue jewish reader and /avoid/

ftw, in comments, hater writes:

i don’t recognize international law and fuck zionism and fuck being jewish and white.

fuckall, d, what do u expect from human refuse like this? you're usually prettty good on /the jewish question/ but this time? centering this hater's words?
massive fail.

DaisyDeadhead said...

PNTS, wow! Admittedly, didn't pay too close attention to her blog, and my apologies for that. But she is obviously taken seriously as an activist, so the antisemitism is worrying. In the thread you linked, nobody but the Jewish poster called her on her language (and even so, rather timidly).

Phyrecracker already called me "whitey" twice on Twitter (not sure why, and she wouldn't tell me when I asked), which is how I discovered her in the first place... so it isn't too surprising that she is a hater.

PNTS, sorry if you were offended by my choice, but I do think the topic is interesting.

Dori said...

Actually Daisy, I think I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis of this particular example.

Phyrecracker is talking about racism and cultural appropriation. This is not by any means comparable to religious appropriation, especially the appropriation of Christianity.

In at least a few religious traditions I know of, it is impossible to disentangle ethnicity and race from the religious/spiritual practices themselves. A good example is Judaism, in which it is possible to be an ethnic Jew while still being non-religious. I myself am an agnostic Jew, but the traditions and the ritual still has deep meaning for me as part of my family's direct history, and as a part of my ethnic identity. Hinduism is also one of those traditions.

The ability to separate ethnicity, culture and/or race from specific spiritual practices is something that is very ethnocentric. It is also something that is practiced a great deal in Christianity. No one is born a Christian in such a way as they are unable to ever walk away from it. In Judaism and Hinduism, you are born a Jew or a Hindu. Only recently in Judaism has conversion even been allowed. To the best of my knowledge one cannot convert to Hinduism. Even converts to Judaism are considered part of the tribe beyond any belief in God(s). This is something that Christianity does not share.

The other thing that is really bothering me here is one simple and glaring fact. You are a white woman trying to tell a woman of color what is or is not racism. That is not good ally behavior and I know you know better than to consciously do something like that. You, and the example of Christianity that you use, are the ones with the power here. And as such, you don't get to tell a WOC what is racist and what isn't. That is crossing the line into really privileged behavior.

And I need to point out that even if Phyrecracker is an avowed anti-Semite, that does not change the fact that you are the one with institutional power and privilege backing you up in a disagreement like this. Her moral failings do not justify anyone else's.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Dori, in phyrecracker's tweet, she said "our religious practice"--and I was responding to that statement. She is the one who put yoga in that context, as I put music in that context. Those are my only two comparisons: religious practices.

No one is born a Christian in such a way as they are unable to ever walk away from it.

(((faints)))

Dear God. Dear God in heaven, do you actually BELIEVE this?

I very very very very very very very (X infinity) strongly disagree with this statement. I am amazed anyone could say such a thing and believe it. Have you heard of The Vatican? The Mormon Tabernacle? Do you think humongous religious institutions like that are just passing the hat or what? No, they depend on future generations to keep them going, as they have always depended and counted people born in the tribe.

If it's so easy to leave, how about you send me those handy-dandy instructions about how one de-Christianizes? I've read countless blogs, I've read all the major books. Nothing touches it. You gotta be kidding.

I guess I didn't get the memo, because I am 52 yrs old have never been able to just abandon the people and creed who gave me life. (?) I am stunned and amazed that you would say and believe these statements. (?)


This is something that Christianity does not share.

((((faints again)))

You can't be serious. Where are you from?

This is simply not true in the towns, neighborhoods, families, environments I grew up in, wherein Christianity (usually a specific type) is absolutely required, or you will be CUT OFF from your family, neighborhood, etc.

You are generalizing about MY experience now. Why are you doing that?

You are a white woman trying to tell a woman of color what is or is not racism.

Um, where did I say something is not racism? Quote please? I did and said no such thing. Um, I think I said I strongly identified with the impulse to protect what is yours! And I made it clear that I had done this very thing with things I similarly regarded as MY religious practices. (Did you even read it?)

I quoted her remark about racism, but I did not say she was wrong.

Editorial Note, for those following along at home. Back in a thread a few weeks ago, I finally defined the first symptom of CLASSISM IN BLOGDONIA, and to recap, that was: coming here and haughtily informing me what I REALLY said, and what I REALLY meant, when I said and did no such thing.

In fact, I reprinted phyrecracker's tweet precisely because I thought she could have a point. (?) Jesus H.

That is not good ally behavior and I know you know better than to consciously do something like that.

I don't use the term "ally" any more, precisely because of the sort of policing that you are engaging in here.

2b continued

DaisyDeadhead said...

Dori: And as such, you don't get to tell a WOC what is racist and what isn't. That is crossing the line into really privileged behavior.

Quote where I did this? Or I will expect an apology.

I did and said no such thing. I am not sure if she is right or wrong about that, which is a major reason I started the thread. I only know for sure, what I said in the post. If its not there, then it isn't there...please do not read your own meanings into it.

And I need to point out that even if Phyrecracker is an avowed anti-Semite, that does not change the fact that you are the one with institutional power and privilege backing you up in a disagreement like this. Her moral failings do not justify anyone else's.

Phyrecracker is an academic, artist, on the radio, etc. Young, fit, a college education, lots of opportunity. I have none of these privileges. I have white privilege, but that's it. Right now, my plantar fasciitis heartily disagrees that I am the one with all the goodies and holding all the cards, sorry.

And to top it all off, her Twitter avatar makes it clear that she looks fabulous. I look, well, like my avatar, too. :)

DaisyDeadhead said...

What I wrote in a thread dated October 10, when asked how one could possibly define classism on the internet/Blogdonia.

Dori, speaking of allies, please note the following:

I believe one of the major traits of online classism is: deciding what certain people's statements "really mean" and what their intentions must be. As I've said on this thread: putting words into people's mouths. I am, suddenly, starkly aware of who consistently gets this treatment and who doesn't; some bloggers/commenters have the power to do this to people, and some don't. The power comes from having enough people online (of your class and shared perceptions) to back you up and engage in pile-ons with/for you. I don't have many of MY people online to back ME up... in fact, most are not online, as you and I have discussed before.

There are a confluence of factors regarding why I am here and they are not...foremost among these is marriage to a geek who taught me to use computers for recreation (rather than work). Also, I like to write and always have. Put these two factors together, and here I am. But most redneck-hippies are not online, and if so, as "consumers" (what's that word you used, some time ago? Net-something? Can't find the thread now!) and not as people with their own blogs and/or who comment on other blogs regularly. And as I have said before, I think class is the reason for this division, too. (If one has limited access to blogs, as I did for years, you are reluctant to comment on boards/blogs since you don't know when you'll ever be able to check them again, if someone should reply to you personally.)

And so, when certain people using certain locutions show up, speaking very "directly" (or whatever it is they think we do that is rude and uncouth, I've never figured that part out) middle-class Blogdonia reflexively circles the wagons. As with any other unconscious prejudice, I don't think it's deliberate.

But once called on it, there is no effort to say "Gee, could she be right?"--in fact, it just gets worse, as people further announce that all education is class-oriented, for example [referring to Alas thread here] ... I think young people (primarily students) are treated the very BEST of all bloggers and commenters in Blogdonia... College students (particularly grad and post-grad students), rate an almost cult-like level of respect.

...

Anyway, I don't expect this state of affairs to change until large numbers of working class and poor people are participating in lefty Blogdonia. And that may never happen. Twitter is opening up the doors, though... people are following links, and lets hope they start getting more involved. Once different forms of discourse and language are more common, I think this will dissipate.

I am still upset that Twitter and most online activity is still oriented towards the young. I met a great old woman the other day who had an encyclopedic knowledge of alternative medicine, and had extensive courses/training in Europe, etc... I told her she needed to blog about that stuff. She said she'd touched a computer maybe three times in her life.

And that's what I'm talking about.

After more working class/redneck feminist women, in the south, of my age group, etc are online, we can discuss the "southern culture of honor"--but right now, I think I am just one of very few of my kind online. As a result, they are free to tell me what I "really mean" (without anyone contradicting them and offering any alternative explanations), complete with an attendant "Yeah, fuck her!" chorus.

There are lots and lots of them, and very few of me. More of me, and I won't be so peculiar and horrible to them.

Just my opinion, after days of thinking it over.


...

SnowdropExplodes said...

(epic comment split into two parts)

On the subject of cultural "borrowing" and yoga in particular, the story of how Chinese martial arts came about, particularly the association with the temple of Shao Lin, is that a Hindu priest visiting, saw the monks in the temple were appallingly lacking in proper exercise and taught them the first forms of exercise that became the basis of the Chinese forms. I don't know how factual this story is, but that's the story that is told in most books about martial arts.

Similarly, yoga as I first became aware of it was an incredibly useful and effective therapeutic exercise that my mother practised for several years when she had some sort of mobility issues (I was very young, I don't recall what they were - but yoga helped a lot).

I think there is some grounds for considering the blasé approach that some people take to certain cultures and cultural practices or symbols to be racist. While it is not directly an exercise of "prejudice+power", it is certainly disempowering of the people whose culture it is: some of the teeny-style "wicca-witchcraft" books that are sold these days strike me as being very much the same thing happening. These kinds of new-age crap ultimately take the attitude "this is my plaything now, whee, isn't it fun?" which most definitely is prejudice+power in action.

But not all people who practice yoga, or wicca, or t'ai chi, or other cultural things, take that approach. In the case of my mother it was clearly respectful and the message was "Wow, thanks, that helped! Thank you!" For other types of activity there are other messages that are also respectful.

SnowdropExplodes said...

A question arose in my mind following Dori's comment whether Christianity really has the "power" part of the equation when it comes to appropriation; and significantly, is the experience any different for a Christian than it is for members of other religions? The answer (as Tolkien's elves might tell you) is "both no and yes".

Several of the symbols, practices and culture of Christians really have been appropriated, and in ways that are at times deeply disrespectful to the meaning of them, and the faith of believers. I have a recollection (though I can' recall the source) of reading about a young woman who went into a jewellery shop to by a cross. After looking at a few she asked, "don't you have any with the little feller on it?" (Imagine if St Paul's injunction for Christians to greet one another with a brotherly kiss were still practised today by Christians - that young woman might have been in for a shock!) The OP gives several other examples, things that resonate with my own experience as a Christian.

On the other hand, at least until recently (last decade or two) in the UK religious music (pretty much meaning Western classical Christian music) was banned from being used on commercials. The protests that some plays, movies etc receive do seem to come from a sense of privileged status among Western Christian communities. But there seems to be very little power wielded that actually protects Christianity from these abuses of its cultural heritage, just as there is very little protecting other cultures from the same plundering.

I think it's important to distinguish between "Western" and "USAian" in some things though: the OP's analogy of "I need 2 say again: if u participate in the fuckery of Christmas, our religious practice, Mother Mary will shit on you. Consider yourself warned." really does carry a different meaning in the USA especially, because there is a powerful and potentially violent right-wing Christian faction there which does have some influence on policy: it's not purely an appeal to a deity but could end up as a campaign call for actual, temporal, even legislative action. That is less true in other countries (it's hard to imagine such a call being taken as seriously in the UK, for example).

I am inclined to say that this is one situation where, while it may in fact be all black-and-white, it is also fractal-structure so that broad, sweeping statements about "this is racist" or "this is not racist" can't really apply.

SnowdropExplodes said...

heh - just read Daisy's epic response and seen it was far better than mine. I should just keep my mouth shut and wait for someone else to be more intelligent than me.

senchi said...

"If it's so easy to leave, how about you send me those handy-dandy instructions about how one de-Christianizes? I've read countless blogs, I've read all the major books. Nothing touches it. You gotta be kidding."

The Irish are immune to psychoanalysis

lol

John Powers said...

Even Richard Dawkins sings Christmas carols :-)

I don't believe in God. But I was raised as a Christian in a country where most of my peers were Christians too. As far as I can tell my Christianity is indelible notwithstanding my unbelief. I think my experience is common. So I was glad to see you push back on the point.

YogaforCynics said...

As Mr. Zimmerman says: disillusioned words like bullets bark as human gods aim for their mark and make everything from toy guns that spark to flesh colored Christs that glow in the dark; it's easy to see without lookin' too far that not much is really sacred...

Love the viking helmet...

Crys T said...

My 2 cents: There is a difference between appropriating from a minority/minoritised culture (including religious practices) and from a dominant one.

Just so people know where I personally stand, I'm an atheist, but as Dara O'Briain says, I'm a Catholic atheist. Meaning I don't believe, but you can't really get all the incense and high drama out of your head.

But, in those parts of the world where Christianity dominates--and this includes most of Europe, where the people may now be non-religious but Christianity was the former majority religion--originally religious celebrations like Christman have now become part of the social fabric. And not because we atheists and other assorted non-and-ther-believers appropriated it, but because of the history of the society.

You simply can't say the same thing about yoga in European/Europeanised society. It's a straight-out appropriation. I don't agree that everyone who practices it is racist. Hell, I think a lot of people who take it up don't even realise where it originates. But I also imagine that sort of adds insult to injury.

phyrecracker sounds like a really unpleasant person, and her anti-semitism alone puts her far beyond the pale. But still, the issue of yoga being taken out of its true context and commercialised for the benefit of others is problematic.

Dori said...

Daisy, I'm sorry, but Christian is not a race. And I explained that being able to separate race and culture from religion is something that does not apply in every situation, and in the particular example of Hindu culture, this is especially true. Where I am from, where my family was originally from, we were murdered because of our ethnicity, not because of what name we use for God. your attempt to separate the religious from the racial is a function of your perspective and your privilege.

You were the one who said, in your initial post: "{phyrecracker] believes Westerners practicing yoga is a racist act."

You then go on to write an entire post that conflates Western appropriation of Indian culture with people disrespecting Christianity, which misses the fact that I pointed out above and in my initial comment. I can not believe in God and still be a Jew, because it is as much an ethnic identity as it is a religious one. If I am correct about most Christian traditions, it is a precondition that one believes in God, and has absolutely nothing to do with your ethnicity. You never actually say that she is wrong, but you ignore what she is actually saying and state that this is about religion only even in the face of the fact that not all religions are raceless.

I'm not telling you what you really meant, I'm telling you what your words read like. In fact, I even went so far as to point out that I don't believe you did this on purpose. I went to lengths to make sure that I did not assume your intent because in situations like this, we rarely intend to do harmful things. That is part of why the intent behind our actions does not matter as much as the effect these actions have. I may not intend to step on someones foot, but if I tell them not to complain that their foot hurts because I didn't mean to do it, well...what does that accomplish?

You do need a privilege check here. And for the record, just because she has privileges that you don't this does not cancel out the privileges that you have over her. I'm not much better off than you in many ways, but I recognize that my whiteness privileges me regardless of my being queer, or gender-variant, or poor.

I am sorry if it feels like I am attacking you. I'm probably being a bit harsh, but I feel like you are missing an important point here, and it isn't just important in the context of phyrecracker herself, but for people like me who live an ethnicity that regularly gets treated as "just" a religion.

SnowdropExplodes said...

Dori:

"Daisy, I'm sorry, but Christian is not a race."

It's worth remembering that Hindu is not a race either. People of the same racial characteristics as Hindus practice and are born into, other faiths - most notably Sikhism and Islam. I hesitate to call it the same ethnicity because ethnicity describes cultural as well as biological features, and I don't know enough about practices in those cultures in India to comment with confidence on whether there is a shared ethnic background to the various religious communities there (I would guess that there are but I can't know).

You seem to be saying that to you it sounds like Daisy is treating ethnicity as "just" a religion. But I read her as saying just the opposite. Her post sounds to me like it talks about her personal experience of seeing things that are religious being treated as "just" ethnicity, and free-for-all, and compares that to the way that phyrecracker seems to be relating to yoga as practised in the West.

But, of course, Daisy is able to explain better than I am what she really means here. This is just what I understood.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Snowdrop, you understand perfectly. I guess I should let non-Christians tell me what Christianity is and is not. (Of course, being college grads, they know far better than I do.)

Where I am from, where my family was originally from, we were murdered because of our ethnicity, not because of what name we use for God.

Ummm, have you ever heard of Oliver Cromwell? The potato famine? You don't think the Irish were murdered for our ethnicity? Okay, I'll bite: what WAS the reason, then?

Do you need a remedial course in the history of Ireland, or what?

your attempt to separate the religious from the racial is a function of your perspective and your privilege.

I am not separating this at all. (?) You are. You have just erased Ireland's identity and the history of oppression by the British.

Are you saying none of that ever happened?

You were the one who said, in your initial post: "{phyrecracker] believes Westerners practicing yoga is a racist act."

Right. And that is an accurate summation of her position, isn't it? WHERE did I say I agreed with her? (BTW, I already know what I wrote, since I'm the one who wrote it.)

I report a lot of people's views on here, doesn't mean I agree with them. If I do, I make it very clear that I do.

You then go on to write an entire post that conflates Western appropriation of Indian culture with people disrespecting Christianity

There you go again.

PLEASE DO NOT USE OTHER WORDS TO DESCRIBE MY THOUGHTS, OTHER THAN THE ONES I HAVE ALREADY USED. THANKS.

I can not believe in God and still be a Jew, because it is as much an ethnic identity as it is a religious one.

Okay, do I understand that you have proclaimed that the two groups I descend from, Irish Catholics and Pentecostal Hillbillies, are not ethnic identities? On what do you base this statement? Simply the fact of being white? So, according to you, no white people have any ethnic identities, except Jews? Is this what you are saying? Italians, Irish, Russian... not ethnic identities? (Which religion are these people, usually, BTW?)

Who qualifies as "ethnic", as far as you are concerned, and what is the criteria for your decision to include us as real live ethnic groups?

Dori, speaking of privilege, if you continue to insult and erase Irish people this way, you can fuck off. Really, I find your comments extremely offensive and insulting.

If I am correct about most Christian traditions, it is a precondition that one believes in God, and has absolutely nothing to do with your ethnicity.

Okay, so why was I raised Christian and you weren't? I think that might have been because of who I was born to and who you were born to, but for some reason, you get to call yourself ethnic and I don't. Privilege indeed! You have erased my entire life and the life of several million ethnic Christians.

Are African American Christians "ethnic"--or is it just white Christians that are not "ethnic"?

Your arrogance and ignorance AMAZE me.

And BTW, what is this "precondition" you speak of, and how does the Sacrament of infant baptism fit into this? Are you saying babies are asked their consent and must believe in God before they are baptized? Are you telling me that 3-week-old babies can believe in God?

2b continued

SnowdropExplodes said...

Crys T:

the issue of yoga being taken out of its true context and commercialised for the benefit of others is problematic.

And how is this not problematic with Christian symbols and practices? Especially given that commercial use and profit-making is essentially directly blasphemous in the teachings of Christianity? There is something deeply disrespectful (and I don't agree that it is any different in kind or degree) in seeing angels trumpeting "Joy to the World! Massive savings on all our latest products!" for example.

You say:

in those parts of the world where Christianity dominates--and this includes most of Europe, where the people may now be non-religious but Christianity was the former majority religion--originally religious celebrations like Christmas have now become part of the social fabric.

This much is true, and I think that the OP explicitly acknowledges that the festival itself is now shared as a common festival. But the appropriation is of specifically religious symbols and culture and treating them as if they have no religious meaning. I already talked about explicitly religious symbols being used as tawdry advertising gimmicks.

I have to agree with the OP - there seems to me to be little difference between a culturally-sensitive performance of the great baroque or classical devotional music by non-Christians (anywhere in the world, and by musicians/a conductor of any ethnicity or culture) and a properly respectful practice of yoga (or t'ai chi or other cultural form). The problem comes with disrespectful use (which you mention when you talk about "I think a lot of people who take it up don't even realise where it originates. But I also imagine that sort of adds insult to injury.")

As I said in my mega-epic comment, I think the racism mostly enters when people take the attitude "this is my plaything now, whee, isn't it fun?"

DaisyDeadhead said...

Dori: I'm not telling you what you really meant, I'm telling you what your words read like.

To someone who thinks Oliver Cromwell never existed or attempted genocide against the Irish... maybe your opinion doesn't mean too much to me, since you seem profoundly ignorant of the history of MY people. I would not expect you to have a single clue about what I mean or what I say. You are showing me that you come from a whole nother planet, where apparently white ethnic people don't exist.

Of COURSE you don't understand me.

In fact, I even went so far as to point out that I don't believe you did this on purpose. I went to lengths to make sure that I did not assume your intent because in situations like this, we rarely intend to do harmful things.

Like erasing the history of Ireland?

That is part of why the intent behind our actions does not matter as much as the effect these actions have. I may not intend to step on someones foot, but if I tell them not to complain that their foot hurts because I didn't mean to do it, well...what does that accomplish?

Do you need a reading list about Ireland?

You do need a privilege check here. And for the record, just because she has privileges that you don't this does not cancel out the privileges that you have over her.

No plural. I have one privilege, period. And she has lots more, as you also do. As proof, we see you here arrogantly patronizing me like a child--while it turns out that you do not even know the history of my people, yet presume to preach to me about how we 'don't count' as authentically ethnic.

You have a lot of nerve.

I'm not much better off than you in many ways, but I recognize that my whiteness privileges me regardless of my being queer, or gender-variant, or poor.

What level of education do you have? That's the operative point here: the highly-educated kids coming over here to preach to the old uneducated redneck. It's getting to be a regular occurrence, and I am getting goddamn tired of it, okay?

I am sorry if it feels like I am attacking you. I'm probably being a bit harsh, but I feel like you are missing an important point here, and it isn't just important in the context of phyrecracker herself, but for people like me who live an ethnicity that regularly gets treated as "just" a religion.

And that is EXACTLY what you are doing to me.

Dori said...

I can't believe this.

I tried to give you information that you were missing. That is all. I am not a college graduate, and I am not strutting in here to tell the "hippie redneck" that she is stupid. I am someone that respects you, and your perspectives, and your writing. I have learned a lot from you, and I was under the impression that this was a place where I could point out that I saw a flaw in your reasoning. I did not expect to be bombarded with accusations and anger for doing so, and I really don't have the energy to sit here and get defensive. It will accomplish nothing.

Daisy, you can accuse me of whatever you like, and you can believe whatever you like. I was just trying to help.

prefer not to say said...

dori - nothing more //pathetic// than a selfhating jew straining to be PC by excusing & explaining away antisemitism from POC. & privately they're laughing at you

DaisyDeadhead said...

Dori, please don't repeat these dumb, insulting statements anywhere else... and whatever you do, don't risk your life by repeating them in neighborhoods like South Columbus, Cleveland, or Savannah; as well as large swaths of Chicago and New York... and most especially, South Boston.

Reading assignments:

Eleven Years War

Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.

Quote from above link: The slaughter of the garrison and civilians in Drogheda, including 1,000 taking shelter in the town church was received with horror in Ireland, and is remembered even today as an example of Cromwell’s extreme cruelty.

Dori, since you claim these events were not due to their ethnic identity as Irish Catholics, but was only about their whiteness (is this what I understand you to say?), could you explain to me why the white British were exterminating the white Irish?

Irish Rebellion of 1798

Quote from above: The aftermath of almost every British victory in the rising was marked by the massacre of captured and wounded rebels with some on a large scale such as at Carlow, New Ross, Ballinamuck and Killala. The British were responsible for particularly gruesome massacres at Gibbet Rath, New Ross and Enniscorthy, burning rebels alive in the latter two[4]. For those rebels who were taken alive in the aftermath of battle, being regarded as traitors to the Crown, they were not treated as prisoners of war but were executed, usually by hanging.

Countless civilians were murdered by the military, who also practised gang rape, particularly in County Wexford.


Rebellion in Ireland, 1916

Dori, and you claim these events had nothing to do with Irish ethnicity--since Catholics have no ethnicity. Could you explain the reason, in that case? I can't think of a single historian who would agree with you.

But since you know everything, I am certainly eager to hear your version of history.

DaisyDeadhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
genderbitch said...

Are you saying that the Irish is one of the ethnicities of Christianity? o_O

Like... the Irish are a Christian race/ethnicity in the same way the Jews (people) are a Jewish (religion) race/ethnicity? And if so, why?

I'm confused, could you explain?

genderbitch said...

@prefer not to say:

Um... what?

How is it self hating to make a perfectly valid statement about one person's awful behavior not justifying further awful behavior?

I have no clue about whether yoga is appropriation so I can't say if she's right or wrong. But I do know that her being a raging anti semite does not change the wrongness of bigotry against her people, if such is occurring.

Two wrongs never make a right. This is simple fucking math. Not PC. Not self hate. FFS don't pull such silly derails.

Crys T said...

"And how is this not problematic with Christian symbols and practices? Especially given that commercial use and profit-making is essentially directly blasphemous in the teachings of Christianity? There is something deeply disrespectful (and I don't agree that it is any different in kind or degree) in seeing angels trumpeting "Joy to the World! Massive savings on all our latest products!" for example."

Yes, I agree that it's tawdry and, if you are religious, a disgrace. But the most important point is that this marketing is being done by people from & within a Christian-dominated society, most of whom would even describe themselves as Christians. It's not something that's been taken by outsiders without any consent. In fact, to the extent that outsiders do use any of these symbols, it's due to our imposing ourselves on them, NOT the other way round. You can't force US/European culture down the world's throats and then get annoyed if they do a little Christmas decorating without any commitment to the idea behind it.

If the US had a history of being subjugated by imperial powers until 1948, and....well, shit, I can't go further with this analogy because indigenous Americans are not white world dominators. But if white, Christian Americans were a group that was subject to racial oppression throughout the world, and the commercialisation of Christmas and other religious events were being done by those oppressing groups, you could compare the two. You can't: it's entirely a question of social power.

Also, a lot of the trappings of supposedly Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter are relatively recent additions, or are lifted themselves from non-Christian sources. Candy canes, chocolate eggs, even Christmas trees, many of the carols, the idea of Christmas being a time of cold & snow...none of that has any real bearing on Christianity.

The fact is that WE ourselves have made Christmas nothing more than a big, shiny, colourful party. Not anyone from outside. And if other people look at our big, pretty party and think it'd be fun to join in, what the hell? If most of us can't be bothered to remember that it's actually a totally serious religious thing, how do we expect anybody else to get that?

Blue Heron said...

It's all right ma, I'm only bleeding.

Lucy said...

Irish Catholic =/= ethnicity. Irish = ethnicity. Of course I'm assuming we're talking about ethnicity in the common American/British meaning. Or when my Irish ancestors gave up Catholicism did they become a new ethnicity? To paraphrase you, Daisy, why are you erasing my history?

I'm really confused as to the idea that someone raised Christian can't walk away from Christianity. I did. I have yet to be disowned by my family, my community, etc, though I know my mother is disappointed in me. I know plenty of people who have walked away from Christianity without adverse consequences. You're making your experiences out as the universal experiences of Christians, Daisy, and that's just not right.

Elizabeth McClung said...

And thus why I find going into blog sphere circles on things like this like taking acid and having a bad trip. The comments are enlightening in so much that the one thing I don't see is what the Torah, and every holy book or text requests: mercy ("I desire mercy over sacrifices"), compassion (the stranger within the gates? - and yes, if 'only recently' you mean 4,000-5,000 years ago that conversion was allowed regarding the root of Jesse).

I am not quite sure what to say on Yoga except that when I take wheelchair boxing, I am knowingly appropriating: males, Conan Doyle, segregation, martial arts, the 14th use of a wheeled chair, the use of the paralyzed leader and the sight impaired leader on their horses at Agincourt, um, I guess the Ace Bandage company or I could be signing up for something which is vital to create circulation. I am curious now that we have establised a premise re Yoga, how does Lulu Lemon fit in that - are they like drug suppliers then?

Sorry if I don't seem to take this seriously, maybe I feel people are flaunting their oxygen and lung privilage.

Yoga is oppression, got it, will get the bumper sticker (once I get a car and they let me drive).

DaisyDeadhead said...

Dori, Genderbitch, Lucy, I think we will have to agree to disagree.

And, what Elizabeth and Blue Heron said.

Lucy: I'm really confused as to the idea that someone raised Christian can't walk away from Christianity. I did.

Believe it or not, some people can lose weight, others can't. Some can quit drinking, others can't. Some like to skydive, others don't. Etc. Send me the instruction book on how it's done? Oh, wait, I'm just supposed to KNOW? I see. Got it.

Obviously, you are a far better person than I am.

I have yet to be disowned by my family, my community, etc, though I know my mother is disappointed in me.

I guess you come from an enlightened, polite, upper class, educated family who doesn't really believe in hellfire, huh?

I know plenty of people who have walked away from Christianity without adverse consequences.

Yes, I do too. But I can't do it. And I don't know anyone raised very devout who has left, unless they ended up going a bit wacky and extreme in the other direction.

BTW, how devoutly were you raised? Did you go to Benediction? If not, you're excused from this discussion.

You're making your experiences out as the universal experiences of Christians, Daisy, and that's just not right.

"Just not right"? Sorry, you're excused from the discussion then, in that case.

What do you think of what John Powers said about Richard Dawkins singing Christmas Carols? And did you get what John was saying?

And I've known plenty of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, who have "walked away" from their backgrounds, too. But I am told by Dori and you in this thread that they are "still properly ethnic" and the Irish are not. And I will simply have to disagree, "Irish Catholic" and "Italian Catholic" (etc) is an ethnicity.
(I notice you've all ignored the question about whether Hillbillies constitute an ethnicity?)

Just because you all so strongly dislike Christians, Catholicism and Christianity, does not make your statements MAGICALLY SO.

Or when my Irish ancestors gave up Catholicism did they become a new ethnicity?

No, they assimilated, as they were expected to.

Genderbitch: Are you saying that the Irish is one of the ethnicities of Christianity? o_O

Like... the Irish are a Christian race/ethnicity in the same way the Jews (people) are a Jewish (religion) race/ethnicity? And if so, why?

I'm confused, could you explain?


Of course. What's to explain? I thought it was obvious, always have. I didn't think this was even open to debate, as when Freud (see link in Senchi's comment) referred to "the Irish race"

Are you saying Jews are a race? What about black and white Jews, then, are they not black or white, but Jews first and foremost?

I'm confused, could you explain?

And GB, please do not get so nasty with my commenters: "FFS don't pull such silly derails."--that is my job to say that here, not yours. Thanks.

BTW, I don't see any derail at all.

Mama Moretti said...

Daisy - you can't expect young people raised post Vat II to have a clue how it used to be. Make them watch "Doubt" - lol.

Bryce said...

stop appropriating my gay culture by watching Will & Grace.elizabeth mc, lol

DaisyDeadhead said...

Bryce, but that's a good point, what both Elizabeth and Rootie said.

Is appropriation simply unavoidable once the assimilation process has begun?

And how about what I wrote here. Is "O Brother where art thou" and the accompanying recent popularity of bluegrass music, an "appropriation" too?

It seems to me, the "PC" aspect of these comments can be boiled down to: No white people's cultures can ever be appropriated. Christianity is never appropriated. Everything and everyone else: Of course, stolen by evil whites and Christians.

And we wonder why there is a currently a political backlash?

I have a long shift today, will not be able to reply to the multiple take-downs until I get home.

Bryce, call me @ work around lunch time. It's important! :P

Bryce said...

d, will do my love

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

genderbitch said...

No, I know that the Irish are an ethnicity, definitely. That I'm totally clear on. No need to be sarcastic with me.

I'm confused about why you think the Irish are a /Christian ethnicity/.

There are Jews of different races, as exceptions to the closed culture that the Jewish ethnicity had. Sort of like a monopoly on the Jewish religion. It's a lot like the closed culture of the Rroma. Their religion is theirs because it is not shared. Their ethnicity is connected to their religion due to that closed culture having been the monopolizers (and prolly makers of) that religion. The Jews have opened up a bit but those they let in are still more or less exceptions to the rule. The Jewish religion is still an inherited thing, only automatic entry given through the mother's line (I believe it's the mother's at least)

I guess what I'm asking is: Do you feel that the Irish and Christianity are both closed cultures? (or were once closed and are only slightly less so?) And that Christianity being closed is part of Ireland being closed, and as such creates a monopoly on that religion? Cuz that's how you get a religious ethnicity. That's really the only way to get one actually.

I apologize if I overstepped with that commenter. He or she or ze or they made a fairly nasty comment about "self hate" that was particularly vile and irrelevant to what Dori said. I'm sorry if I came across too harsh on your blog, it just rubbed me entirely the wrong way. I've been called a self hating trans woman for not thinking two wrongs make a right so it set me off.

Like when Tami used the words "the transgendered" for my kind (which is really dehumanizing) and someone (3 guesses who & the first two don't count) told me I ought to call her "a black" to get my point across. That would have been wrong but I've been branded a self hater for not pulling such shit.

Lucy said...

Daisy:

Obviously, you are a far better person than I am.

Gee, I don't remember saying I was a better person than you. However, you were claiming that Christians couldn't stop being Christians. I pointed out that this was not a universal experience.

I guess you come from an enlightened, polite, upper class, educated family who doesn't really believe in hellfire, huh?

You guess wrong. But thanks for the inverted classism.

BTW, how devoutly were you raised? Did you go to Benediction? If not, you're excused from this discussion.

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were talking about Christianity, not just Catholicism (You do remember that Catholicism is not the only form of Christianity, right?). Anyway, I was raised devoutly. I don't care to give my Christan resumé on the net.

"Just not right"? Sorry, you're excused from the discussion then, in that case.

Wow, that's incredibly shitty of you. You decide that your experience as a Christian counts but mine doesn't. Thanks for putting me in my place. I guess you are the universal Christian, after all, then?

What do you think of what John Powers said about Richard Dawkins singing Christmas Carols? And did you get what John was saying?

I think that shows Christmas carols aren't about the religious holiday. I got what John was saying.

But I am told by Dori and you in this thread that they are "still properly ethnic" and the Irish are not. And I will simply have to disagree, "Irish Catholic" and "Italian Catholic" (etc) is an ethnicity.

Are you willfully misrepresenting what I said? I said Irish are ethnic. My problem is that you keep wanting to drop "Catholic" at the end as though somehow Irish Catholics are a separate ethnic group from the Irish who aren't Catholic. Let's look at it a different way: Do you think the English who are Catholic are a separate ethnicity from the English who are Anglican?

(I notice you've all ignored the question about whether Hillbillies constitute an ethnicity?)

Because I can't judge based on some incoherent group. Ethnicity in the American/British sense is not based on where one lives but on ancestry.

Just because you all so strongly dislike Christians, Catholicism and Christianity, does not make your statements MAGICALLY SO.

When did I say any of that? Point it out, please. You're reading what isn't there, something you blasted Dori for when you thought she was doing it to you. I'm not saying my statements are magically true. I've given reasons. I've also said nothing, nor has anyone else I believe, about disliking Christians, Christianity, or Catholics in particular. You have equated saying Catholic is not an ethnicity with disliking Catholicism, Christianity, & Christians which does not make sense.

SnowdropExplodes said...

Lucy:

My problem is that you keep wanting to drop "Catholic" at the end as though somehow Irish Catholics are a separate ethnic group from the Irish who aren't Catholic. Let's look at it a different way: Do you think the English who are Catholic are a separate ethnicity from the English who are Anglican?

You appear to be very ignorant of Irish politics and culture here. Or are you saying that the wars between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants are nothing? Yes, many of the latter were originally English but not all were, and furthermore I'm fairly sure that there were and are Protestants in the Republic of Ireland (or the region now governed by the Republic) whose upbringing and ancestry is different from that of their peers who have been brought up in the Catholic tradition there.

And I would also suggest that the upbringing of a Catholic in the Irish tradition would differ strongly from that of, say, a Bavarian Catholic, or a French Catholic, or an Italian Catholic. That's not entirely guesswork, either, having visited some of these regions and seen how the traditions appear there. The religion and the culture are combined into an ethnicity distinct both from other religious traditions in the same regions (or neighbouring regions) and distinct from practitioners of the same religion in different regions. That distinct ethnicity is indeed handed down by culture and ancestry.

So I would argue that "Irish Catholic" is indeed the correct way to describe ethnicity.

I think in England the integration and assimilation that Daisy mentions has taken place quite a lot in the last 50-100 years. It was quite a surprise to me to discover that my grandparents were both raised as Catholics, and in my family tree I would argue that there was definitely a distinct ethnicity of Catholicism (although since it looks as though at least one side is made up of Irish immigrants and Gypsies, whether that counts as "English" or not is open to question). But I think that there at least did used to be distinct English Catholic and English Protestant heritages that would qualify as "ethnicity".

SnowdropExplodes said...

GB:

Do you feel that the Irish and Christianity are both closed cultures? (or were once closed and are only slightly less so?) And that Christianity being closed is part of Ireland being closed, and as such creates a monopoly on that religion? Cuz that's how you get a religious ethnicity. That's really the only way to get one actually.

First, purely from curiosity, can you tell us what makes you qualified to determine how one does or does not get a religious ethnicity?

Secondly, I would argue that the intersection of "Irish Catholicism" does in fact constitute a "closed culture" (see my response to Lucy, above). Certainly it did for a very long time and if it is less so now, then it is only very recently it has lost that quality (for example, Frank McCourt's autobiographical "Angela's Ashes" is documentary evidence of it existing in the 1920s and 1930s).

Similarly, the evidence I have found about my own ancestry suggests that there at least used to be distinct ethnic communities delineated by religion in England.

While assimilation and appropriation have made English society much more homogeneous in modern times than in earlier generations, the remnants of the distinct traditions are still around; I would argue that there is still a very clear Yorkshire ethnicity, for example - and Yorkshire puddings are appropriated from my ethnicity there. In folk dance and instruments there are also clear evidence of distinct traditions (for example, Morris dancing comes in regionally-distinct traditions; long sword/rapper dances also have clear and distinct regional, ethnic, origins, even though now they are practised by folk dancers all over the country (for instance, I learned long sword dancing in the South East, a long way from its point of origin).

These ethnic heritages of England may be losing their ethnic identities in the homogenised English identity (or even at risk of being lost altogether) but they still mark ethnicity. It is just that much harder to talk about specific ethnicities in England than in some cultures now because of the tendency to assimilate.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Lucy, I am struggling to remember an occasion that you have visited here previously in which you DID NOT engage in take-downs, negativity and pile-ons (like this one). Funny, now that I think of it, don't remember a single time you have posted here that hasn't been negative. This makes me wonder if you are a concern troll.

Of course, nothing I say will please you if you have decided you already dislike me.

Question: Have you been visiting phyrecracker's blog and enthusiastically taking her down as an antisemite, or is that somehow different and more acceptable to you? Certainly, that won't impress your friends as much as harassing a second-wave white feminist, is that it? (Well, you're probably right about that.)

At least I know that Dori and GB have been supportive and positive in the past. You? Not so much. I think you are just here to fight.

Lucy: Gee, I don't remember saying I was a better person than you.

(LOL) This is ALL about your moral superiority, and has nothing at all to do with the subject at hand. If so, as I said, why do you only show up to criticize me?

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we were talking about Christianity, not just Catholicism.

I am talking about ethnicity... to me, certain combinations are ethnic, usually religion + place:

New York Jews
Southern Baptists
Russian Orthodox
Irish Catholics
Pakistani Muslims

Etc.

(This doesn't seem like rocket science to me, dunno why everyone is having such a hard time with it.)

Do you think the English who are Catholic are a separate ethnicity from the English who are Anglican?

No, but that is not to say they don't have their own; of course they do. (?)

Lucy: Because I can't judge based on some incoherent group.

This is pretty fucking nasty. Incoherent? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Wow, that's incredibly shitty of you.

Not nearly as shitty as calling Appalachian people "an incoherent group"--holy shit.

We have nothing else to say to each other. (I'm incoherent anyway, why do you bother?)

...

Genderbitch: I guess what I'm asking is: Do you feel that the Irish and Christianity are both closed cultures? (or were once closed and are only slightly less so?) And that Christianity being closed is part of Ireland being closed, and as such creates a monopoly on that religion?

Yes, I do. The monopoly is on the type of Christianity it is, which is very specific. (Christianity is large enough that there are wildly varying schools of theology, i.e. Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics, Christian Scientists, etc ... which have little in common with each other except the name "Christian.")

Irish Catholicism, as Snowdrop says, is not the same as Italian Catholicism, as Camille Paglia never tires of telling us. Likewise, "Scottish Presbyterianism" is not the same as suburban American Presbyterianism, although they share creeds and ideas in common. But the religious temperament and the approach to worship? Very different.

I think various types of Christianity are far more 'closed' in certain aspects, than believed to be. The JWs (example) are a very diverse group, racially and ethnically, but extremely "closed" to outsiders and many of their activities are as secret as Scientology. If they should continue on this course, they may well develop 'an ethnicity' of their own, since they already have their own culture, celebrities, shorthand, stories, slang, etc.

Snowdrop, thank you so much for your comments here.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I am not trying to hijack anything and the conversation Lucy/Daisy is having please continue. I just was facinated by some things:

"Ethnicity in the American/British sense is not based on where one lives but on ancestry."

First, I have noticed that the use of 'American' means, 'United States of America', or actually 'thirteen colonies' or 'ideal dream' or something which does not include Canada - which is where all the British were exiled to on their own trail o tears post revolution, or the large black populations around the Naigria and maritimes regarding the slave trail or the French, or the Native nations (and territories still existing in Canada and within US boundries). Nor anyone in the 'America' which includes Mexico but hey, mexico never exists, right? So ignore the scottish settlement by the Lord around the winnipeg area (trying to recreate Ireland) - and skip ahead to today and what I find interesting in that in Stephen Fry's America, a person who has exceedingly high learning and elocution, he can understand the appalacians (sic), but then he also understand that Cornwall and the Birmingham and the other areas of the UK have shows like The Kingdom and such to show the differences in aspects of the UK - yet when asked, the dish considered the most representative of the UK by people in the UK was: Curry. Yeah, won out over the roast beef - everyone loves a curry, everyone loves a kabab. It is now British culture. Which has very little to do with ethnicity. nor I think does Ivanhoe, standing up for the downtrodden jutes and saxons make much difference today in the UK, though 'irish' is listed as an ethnicity on the official forms in the United Kingdoms.

I am curious also why one does not want to put up a resume for Christian, if it is something a person has walked away from. To walk away indicates no pain, no connection, no biggie. Did you do gymnastics in junior high? Did you take tap? Did you take ballet lessons? These are things which are like, "Nope." - or "Yeah for three years, I liked it but was hopeless" - that is what 'walked away' ('abilist') sounds like, not, "I'm not about to discuss that."

Hey, part of my Christian Heritage was pretty much exactly like Waco, TX true church. But then part of it was sort of Amish - and the rest Jewish. I did tithe on the seeds of mint. The day started and ended at sunset, the year had 13 months.

I have more in common with children of survivalists than I do with any ethnic group. My partner, a german russian in a town of german russian mennonites where everyone spoke german and had a german school system and the lords prayer was read every day over the loudspeaker and there was no dancing, no prom - she too has a unique tradition which, when we were in germany, had no commonality there.

Ireland, or 'New Ireland' or Dublin prides itself on the 15 languages you can hear walking down the street (and you can), has embraced the EU vision and money to be a hub of the EU, and tech center. I think there is an urban ethnicity, a moving from city centers to city centers that also exists, a commonality of academics for example whether at this university or another, they speak the same language, know the same jobs, have the same values (publication, grants, projects). Accept the same premises, at least in some fields. Is one born an academic? I did not think so until Hugo said that he was a X generation academic on both sides - an idea which is sort of odd for most of us who walk/wheel the hallways bemoaning when will our grad/post grad students ever submit (except for architecture schools which are univerally inaccessible regarding disabilities). Culture and ethnity are the same/seperate, known/not known/built on ideas which may or may not be true - does it matter?

SnowdropExplodes said...

Snowdrop, thank you so much for your comments here.

You're welcome. The OP, and some of the comments, pushed a few of my buttons so not-commenting was always going to be the harder option for me!

I always seem to "get" your posts on religion and faith quite a lot, which I think is cool considering we're from totally different backgrounds!

Lucy said...

Daisy:

This makes me wonder if you are a concern troll.

Of course, nothing I say will please you if you have decided you already dislike me.


Then you have a very weird definition of "concern troll". I'm not pretending to be on your side and only have concerns about it. I think I pretty clearly disagree with you and just how I do. Dislike you? I don't even know you. I neither like you nor dislike you. Your concern with whether I like you or not is rather odd.

Certainly, that won't impress your friends as much as harassing a second-wave white feminist, is that it? (Well, you're probably right about that.)

Impress my friends? Where do you get this stuff? Since we're both white what does that have to do with anything? While I may not consider myself a second-wave feminist, the only ones I would ever consider harassing are the transphobic ones, and I'm not sure that counts as harassing.

(LOL) This is ALL about your moral superiority, and has nothing at all to do with the subject at hand. If so, as I said, why do you only show up to criticize me?

It does? I'm truly puzzled. You seem to know my motivations without even knowing me: You've determined this is about me disliking you, impressing my friends, and proving my moral superiority. And, you brought up my being a better person than you in reply to a comment that said nothing of the sort. To engage in speculation of my own, you seem determined to make out my comments as though they're all about Daisy as a person and not about my actual points for reasons I can't fathom.

This is pretty fucking nasty. Incoherent? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

It means that I had no clue what group you were talking about. "Hillbillies" can refer to two different groups in the US: people from Appalachia and people from Ozark. The only thing they have in common is both are called "hillbillies".

Not nearly as shitty as calling Appalachian people "an incoherent group"--holy shit.

Three guesses where I'm from. Nah, I'll make it easy on you. I'm from Appalachia. Heck, I live in Appalachia. I don't have your hillbilly ancestry, I am a hillbilly (though I prefer the term "Mountain Woman"). Which is why I didn't say Appalachian people are an incoherent group. You just read that into what I said. You seem to keep doing that.

So, yes, you win. I've used all of my remaining spoons on the above and can't address my actual points. Maybe tomorrow.

SnowdropExplodes said...

Lucy:

With the greatest of respect, I think the phrase to describe your situation on this thread is "when in a hole, stop digging deeper".

It seems pretty clear to me that whether or not you personally mean the things you're saying in the way that Daisy interprets them, sufficient other people have meant them (or similar things) in that way, that your saying them is Not Okay.

That you can honestly say things like "you seem determined to make out my comments as though they're all about Daisy as a person and not about my actual points for reasons I can't fathom." really does seem to originate from a sense of entitlement and privilege. Daisy doesn't need me to speak on her behalf, but your attitude is beginning to annoy me just a teensy bit. Since Daisy has blogged about these issues and these sensitivities before, I don't think I'm going out on a limb to claim that this has to do with Daisy's lived experience and you have managed to emulate the behaviour of prejudiced and oppressive people towards Daisy. And since intention really has very little to do with effect, barging on as if it's all about your points and implying that Daisy is just being irrational and emotional is actually not constructive to the debate.

Lucy said...

SDE,

Oh, I see. So it's totes cool if Daisy slags off on me and says things about me that aren't true because others who have said the same things I'm saying are that way. Riiiight. I get it. Not only does my intent not matter, my lived experiences don't matter either. Let me sum up: I don't get to talk about walking away from Christianity because I walked away from Christianity. I don't get to talk about the ethnicity of my Irish ancestors because... Okay, not clear on that one. I don't get to talk about the ethnicity of Appalachian people because I'm Appalachian. Yeah, it's truly Not Okay for me to talk about these things that have to do with my life and my experiences. That's totally my entitlement and privilege of thinking my life experiences might actually mean something. Why, exactly? Because they lead me to say things that have been said to Daisy before by people who had the intent of insulting and attacking Daisy instead of actually disagreeing with what she said. Okay, well, I'll leave you to your world where attacking the motives of people who disagree with you is totes okay as long as they look like bad people have looked in the past.

(But, seriously, I'm not implying Daisy is irrational and emotional. I'm in favour of emotion and irrationality in religion because I think rationality and lack of emotion is overvalued and because they have a place in religion. But, whatever. Clearly other people know me better than I know myself.)

Ruth Moss said...

Daisy, I'm going to be honest with you, I'm not knowledgeable enough about either US or Irish history to understand half of what's being said in your comments thread, or the OP. Which is why I haven't commented. It goes over my head.

(By the way, since you seem to want to know everyone's class/religious/educational credentials, although I'm not totally sure why, but so you know, I was raised in a quasi-Christian cult on a working-class council estate in Merseyside, UK, but managed to escape the cult, leaving religion too, oh and I'm university educated, in my day they gave kids from poorer families financial incentive "grants" to help them through university. I don't know whether all of that makes me worthy to have an opinion on this or not.)

But because you started on Lucy, calling her a concern troll and not listening to what she says about where she's from, just because she's disagreeing with you, I had to come over here and say something.

She isn't a concern troll. She's just disagreeing with you. There's a big difference and for you to not listen to what she's actually saying, and talking over her, is not right and it's not fair. Can you pack it in, please?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Lucy, let's recap the way this whole thread happened:

Your sorority sister Nueva Voz issued the order on Twitter, some variation of: DaisyDeadhead is a horrible racist white person. (dunno WHY or what I said to deserve this; I asked her and as usual, got no reply). Phyrecracker enthusiastically took up the banner and retweeted this over and over, calling me whitey whitey whitey. I don't know phyrecracker from Adam, so asked HER why, too. In reply, got called whitey AND crazy. (Note: And I am the one who doesn't know HER and never heard of her; she takes orders from Voz and delivers insults, but she is calling me crazy.. um, okay.)

I then looked at her Tweets, and found the ones in the OP, which I thought actually made some pretty good points. Did not pay close enough attention to the blog, again my apologies to Prefer Not To Say. Pretty nasty piece of work, as is anyone who takes marching orders without any investigation. I should have realized that one of Voz's adoring androids could well be a hater.

Last night, saw all the Tweets about this post between you, Dori and GB. I call this a coordinated counter-attack, with Dori sending Tweeted updated links to Voz, as if she was General McArthur on a mission to crush all second-wavers, whom she openly hates and trashes constantly.

Cut the innocent routine.

I see what you're doing. At least Dori tweeted it and got me 500 hits in one day, not bad! I think she expected everyone to come here and kick my ass real good, and it kind of backfired. No one likes haters, and a good fraction of Voz's legion of Twitter-followers follow her as much for entertainment-purposes (the way people rubberneck at an ugly car wreck) as anything else. (I know I did, till the constant hate got to be too much.) Her loyal groupies, like yourself, think she is the Second Coming (deliberate Christian joke, hope you catch that) and do whatever she wants them to do. She will make a GREAT cult leader, if she ever wants to branch out! Lucy, just remember what has happened to some of the loyal First Lieutenants in history. They are held 100% accountable for following orders, even the vicious ones. In short, if Phyrecracker wasn't a mindless Voz-groupie, retweeting madly to IMPRESS HER FRIENDS, this post would never have happened, since that is how I first heard of her... and you.

Notice: Even though Phyrecracker was set up by Voz, she left her twisting slowly, slowly in the wind and has not bothered to defend her here (where is Voz in this thread?). However, Phyrecracker is still held accountable for her own hate, as you will be.

Of course, I realize many of you young people just delete blogs and create new identities all the time when you get tired of the old ones, like buying bags of M&Ms from WalMart, no biggie. But for some us, activism isn't a social game that we play, it's what we have been doing for decades. We didn't get the elite engineer-education that Voz endlessly brags about, and can't opt to live off the grid. Thus, we are about trying to change the social structure to include everyone...not running off to the woods and playing "I've got mine, Jack!" and then Twittering like you are an active part of the struggle. Continually fanning factionalist flames is weakening the left, not stengthening it. Of course, if you live safely in the woods, off the grid, you can afford to do that. But it certainly DOES NOT help progressive forces, particularly in a highly-charged political atmosphere like this, when you encourage hate against other leftists.

Lucy, take heed and wake up, starry-eyed Voz-fangirl.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Ruth: By the way, since you seem to want to know everyone's class/religious/educational credentials

Actually, no, I don't. But you just gave yourself away with "creds"... Is that YOU, Salon Rose? Hey yall! :)

(I have a whole secret-email list following me, folks. Bet you wish YOU could get that kind of attention! :P )

Ruth, are you second string? Did Voz send you over here too?: "It's all so calculated/she's got a calculator"

Yes, CONCERN TROLL. HELL YES. Voz's little terrorizing army, see previous post.

I'd like you all to go away now. Thanks.

PS: Lucy, is "totes cool" some new teenybopper expression I should know? What does it mean?

DaisyDeadhead said...

I said: GO AWAY. I meant it.

All further nastiness will be deleted.

Thanks for playing.

Ruth Moss said...

Neither me nor Lucy follow Voz on twitter, and haven't done for a while, she doesn't follow us, and I'm nowt to do with Salon Rose these days, and haven't been for months and months; nice folks I'm sure but it wasn't really my cuppa tea (I'm more likely to be found on email lists about parenting!).

Honestly, I couldn't give a crap about what Voz or what anyone else thinks about you. She's got her own agenda, I have my own, what, ambivalent? thoughts and feelings about her, but this is nothing to do with this.

Actually, to be honest, I've followed your blog for a long time, as you know, cos you've commented at mine, too, I like your flickr stream and you've commented on mine too, I thought you were ok, and honestly? Yeah, it is nice to read someone on the internet who doesn't talk like a textbook (well, okay, except sometimes, but I tend to ignore posts I don't understand! :)

I've not been "sent" over here by anyone. Least of all Voz. I'm not on any secret list following you, unless you count, you know, that "blogs I follow" thing on blogger/google, which is where I read your posts from.

I came over here for no other motive than that you upset the woman I love, and if a girl can't ask someone to lay off the woman she loves, then really, there's summat wrong isn't there?

As for "credentials" you told Lucy she wasn't working class enough or Christian enough or whatever it was, and actually, yeah, I have seen you do it before, tell people they don't know what they're talking about because they're "college educated" so I thought I'd better let you know, where I'm coming from. BUT:

Yeah, ok, maybe it was a bit sarcastic, so yeah, I'll take that bit back, and apologise, because it was over the top and not necessary.

Now, will you take any of what you've said back, about how I've only come over here because someone I don't even follow on twitter has told me to, and all the nasty things you said to Lucy?

DaisyDeadhead said...

I won't apologize (right now), but I'll leave your comment up, which is the best I can do at present.

All future comments, please stick to the OP topic. Thanks.

prefer not to say said...

all this elevated sturm und drang over daisy & the irish. has even one person confronted the anti-semite?

that's what i thought.

Anonymous said...

It's sad that religion can still cause such arguments, discontent and hate between people.