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International Day of the World's (Indigenous) People
by Jane Eagle
2008-08-09 09:44:58
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I was just thinking about this day, the 9th of August, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People and it just hit me… why don’t we dedicate a day for celebrating people, I mean all people, all kinds of people, of sexes, colours, hairy people, fat, tall, asexual, you deserve a big and fancy balloon.

Intermission –eat your chips: I just killed a teeny tiny and very annoying insect that was strolling on the laptop screen, I hope today is not the World’s Most Annoying Little Creatures Day. Anyway, I am listening to Barbara Streisand right now, "Memoryyyyyy" –yeah I know a bit corny but I’m in a really romantic mood… you know being a girl and all my heart gets no rest…

So, during the day we celebrate people, we should ponder over huge issues that threaten society. You know the way a big fat elephant can scare the hell out of cute little Ratatouille (I named the mouse of the metaphor after the Disney’s character so what? Hahaha) –oops, isn’t there a stupid misconception about elephants having a musophobia? Anyway, when mentioning these huge social issues I was actually referring to sexism, racism, fanaticism: Boys excel in math and chess, girls dig painting their nails, while black people are stupid but have big private areas ‘cause God did them a favor. Yeah right.

What interests me the most is not the attitude of a racist, but the social behaviour of a racism victim. The “stereotype threat” affects our behavior and is reflected in every aspect of our personality. Examples, please gather around:

1) In 1964, Katz, Epps, & Axelson, studied the stereotype threat by testing it on students: African-American students performed better on an IQ test when they believed their performance would be compared to other African-Americans as opposed to European-Americans.

2) In 1965 Katz, Roberts, & Robinson conducted the following experiment which depicts the stereotype threat in the best possible way: African Americans performed better on an IQ test when it was presented to them as a simple test than when it was said to be an IQ test which would measure their intelligence. In some formal words what conveys from these studies: Low performance expectation may cause withdrawal of effort. The stereotype threat might be expected to undermine the standardized test performance of African-Americans relative to European-Americans who do not suffer this added threat. Oh my God, too formal… I feel like wearing glasses, hahaha.

Imagine you’re a comedian and you have to make fun of everything, nature catastrophes, wars, death, racism, every single tragedy, wouldn’t you think that stereotypes that socially torture us, stereotypes that in part caused Auschwitz and Apartheid, stereotypes that WE form, and then strike us like a boomerang are the silliest phenomenon ever occurred on earth?

I mean nothing’s there, you say black is bad, then you realize you’re black and kill yourself. Get it? I wrote once in a novel: I hurt my heart just to satisfy my depressed nature. That’s it! We need a day, 24 hours to think about these problems, once a year we should walk outside with no worries, less hatred, feeling safe and 100% socially accepted. I am asking too much I know… Whatever dudes, I gotta run, my pop corn’s ready, I’m watching Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs tonight –hey! Don’t jump into any conclusions, don’t be slaves of stereotypes… I’ll bite your nose! See ya soon…

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Emanuel Paparella2008-08-09 16:07:41
Here are two seldom found “gems of wisdom” on Africans by two giants of modern Western European philosophy: Hume and Kant. The following passage is from Hume’s Of National Characters:

“I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of that complexion, nor even any individual eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufacturers amongst them, no arts, no sciences. On the other hand, the most rude and barbarous of the Whites, such as the ancient Germans, the present Tartars, have still something eminent about them, in their valour, form of government, or some other particular. Such a uniform and constant difference could not happen, in so many countries and ages, if nature had not made an original distinction between these breeds of men. Not to mention our colonies, there are Negro slaves dispersed all over Europe, of whom none ever discovered any symptoms of ingenuity; though low people, without education, will start up amongst us, and distinguish themselves in every profession. In Jamaica , indeed, they talk of one Negro as a man of parts and learning; but it is likely he is admired for slender accomplishments, like a parrot who speaks a few words plainly.” (David Hume)

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-09 16:08:55
(continued from above)
The next passage is from Kant’s early essays "Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime" where Kant reinforces Hume’s contemptuous and dismissive views of Africans by citing the story of a Dominican missionary (Father Labat) concerning a Black carpenter who had been criticized by the missionary for the arrogant treatment of his wives. Kant goes on to comment that the Negro replied thus: “You whites are indeed fools, for first you make great concessions to your wives, and afterward you complain when they drive you mad.” To which Kant adds a comment, perhaps the single most appalling sentence ever written by a great thinker: “And it might be that there were something in this which perhaps deserves to be considered; but in short, this fellow was quite black from head to foot, a clear proof that what he said was stupid.” (Immanuel Kant).

Now, if the giants of rationalism had this to say about Africans, is there any wander that we needed a civil war in America to correct it?

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-09 16:11:22
Errata: "wandar" above should be spelled "wonder."

Sand2008-08-09 16:35:58
I failed to find "wandar" in the above. Things are pretty bad when you have to correct your corrections.

Jane E.2008-08-09 17:58:47

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-09 18:14:54
"Ein bischen besser wuerde er leben haettest Du Ihm den Schein des Himmelslichts nie gegeben. Er nennt es Vernunft und braucht es nur allein tierischer als jedes Tier zu sein." Translation: "He would have been better off had you not given him a beam of the heavenly light. He calls it reason and uses it alone to be more beastly than any beast. [From Goethe's Faust]

Sand2008-08-09 18:39:31
If a beam of heavenly light is required to catch and correct typos, I would be grateful for it but considering the scarcity of other heavenly interventions in human problems it seems an unreliable resource.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-09 23:21:25
Sand 2008-08-05 17:52:08
As I said, I have live [sic] here for around 40 years. Apparently we have differences as to the definition of accuracy.

Apparently we do, since you too are capable of being inaccurate with your spelling and grammar while going around like an ass correcting those of others. The above should read “I have lived here for around 40 years.”

Jane E.2008-08-10 00:38:44
Whenever I write a little something... you two fight!

I kinda feel like Helen of Troy, hehehe :p

Sand2008-08-10 03:40:10
Now, now, nothing to be upset about. This is not fighting, merely a friendly exercise in linguistic correction. It's a matter of social attitude. Paparella is perfectly correct in mentioning my use of "live" instead of the correct "lived" and I accept the correction with good will as he obviously did a bit of searching to see if he could discover any mistakes. I appreciate his distraction from his normal piling up of mountains of quotations from some ancient Greek or other to justify a comical and odd philosophical point of view. It was done in the name of friendly public service and I am delighted he made the effort. I am not a college professor with a PhD. so I can easily accept correction with no decrease in my stature.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 06:42:02
And so while all the ts have been crossed and the typos have been corrected, the point of the article and comments has been ignored or perhaps missed. One need not be a professor to call that obfuscating sophistic stratagem what it is: intellectual deviousness parading as cleverness, by half.

Sand2008-08-10 07:46:34
And therefor, what is the point of the article which you have ignored by citing the idiocies of two prominent philosophers?

Sand2008-08-10 08:42:45
One point you did make with the citations of those prominent philosophers, whether you realized it or not, was that the authority of being a prominent and respected philosopher is totally insufficient to establish the worth of his speculations. You have continuously cited many philosophical speculations with the assumption that the authority of the philosopher or theologian or the scientist alone was sufficient to carry the worth of the statement. Obviously, it is not. This is not to say that all the thoughts of Hume or Kant are thereby worthless, merely that there are other standards than authority that must be brought into play before even tentative acceptance of a speculation is meaningful.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 12:19:09
Rather the point of the article by Ms. Eagle which has been wholly missed is that the reason why we need to commemorate indigenous people is that we, the intelligentsia of the West, have created a dichotomy between us civilized colonizing people spreading the blessing of civilization to the world (this is ironic, mind you, in case you wish to place that in my mouth as you have done before…) and the indigenous people whom we now proceed to commemorate. That is at best a condescending paternalistic mind-set which has not given up yet the paradigm of the conqueror who says “I conquer therefore I am” and is indeed redolent of racism as the boorish macho diatribe you engaged in with Ms. Pereira only a few days ago more than confirms. Indeed, the emperor is naked in more ways than one.

Sand2008-08-10 13:51:01
There you go with your naked emperor again. Soon you will be climbing on giants again and blaming the Holocaust on PhD.s and gazing dazedly at shadows on a cave wall. There are billions of other more precise and interesting cliches out there. Do you see only these tired, overworked and limited ones?

Strange how you smear the whole west with the nastiness of a particular sector. You, after all, are as thoroughly embedded in the west as Obama and a huge number of people with attitudes totally different from those you describe.

It is evident you are merely a collection of idiotic cliches that bubble to your surface whenever you are agitated like a bottle of gaseous soda water. Does your PhD. stand for Phiz Distributer?

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 14:44:14
Obviously you, Mr. S., are not a very happy camper in a magazine where the vast majority of people are capable of engaging in civilized discourse and remaining agreeable even when they disagree. I have made this proposal before and I repeat it once again: you ought to seriously consider starting a blog of your own wholly dedicated to argumenti ad hominem where people can simply call each other names at their heart's content. Then you'd be the Grand Editor parading your biases and sharpening an ax daily and bashing religion and the Catholic Church at every available oppourtunity and correcting everybody's typos, except your own, of course. There are plenty of models around on the internet. You showed one to the readership once: the one about the FSM. Thus you'd be happier, and the magazine would be spared the embarassment caused to its intelligent readers and contributors.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 14:51:00

Should the readers be wondering about the FSM (i.e., the Churhc of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) to which Mr. S. seems to adhere, the above link will take them to it as it appeared in one of his "enlightened" contributions titled "Sucking Spaghetti."

Sand2008-08-10 15:18:11
I mentioned The Flying Spaghetti monster a couple of times because I thought it is was as comically idiotic as much of the religious doctrine that glazes over Paparella's brain and it seems now to fascinate him as deeply as Catholic beliefs. Perhaps he will end up as an FSM adherent since he loves all that type of mythic mystical fantasy.

But what depresses me more is the totally inept and boring incessant repetition of his outworn cliches. I don't know if he is a paid propaganda agent of the Vatican or merely totally insane in his denials of historical facts about official Catholic behavior but it certainly is odd behavior for someone who claims to be cognizant of established and accepted history. And I certainly wish he were more inventive and original in his language.

If he would find a blog a proper outlet I'm sure he would enjoy it immensely and he could see to it that any incisive analysis of his output would be censored away which he is implying he would prefer here. Anytime I point out inconsistencies in his proposals he accuses me of bullying when in actuality I am merely trying to make him aware of reality (which seems to horrify him).

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 16:06:35
Point proven. You, and the voices that counsel you about reality, would definitly be happier in a blog where bias, disinformation, slander, ignorance and insults reign supreme. It is indeed commendable that this magazine, in the interests of free speech and the free exchange of ideas, tolerates this abuse, for the abuse does justify the taking away of the use.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 16:09:05
Errata: the last sentence ought to read: "the abuse does not justify the taking away of the use."

Sand2008-08-10 16:57:43
It's very apparent your subconscious got the better of you momentarily in your obvious desire to rid yourself of cogent criticism. Of course, in your classroom, where your students must cower before the onslaughts of your blatant idiocy or see their grades suffer, you can strut and puff your ego to your minuscule heart's content dispensing fairy tales as history but you really feel bullied when someone says to your face that you are an insult to any ordinary intelligence. I'm sorry for you.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 18:08:47
Obviously the voices have been visiting lately. Don't believe them. They are liars.
Indeed, in academia, the ultimate appeal is always to reason (correctly understood)and not to the names of authorities no matter how emeinent those authorities may be. When however, a man resort to saying 2+2=3 because I Mr. S. says so, then the ambulance needs to be called because now the appeal is to a narcisistic idolatrous god. For example, when Emperor Caligula ordered his troops to collect shells on the beach of Normandy to prepare for the invasion of England, no questions asked, simply because he was Emperor and a god to boot, the perplexed troops who failed to see the strategic value os such an operation, knew that it was high time to depose him; which is exactly what they did eventually. I have been wondering lately if one of your voices, or perhaps Mr. S. himself, may not be the reincarnation of Emperor Caligula. From the shabby record he has built in this magazine, that hypothesis may be less dubious than what may appear at first.

Sand2008-08-10 18:36:54
I will neglect your primitive concept of number theory since, obviously you are out of your depth in mathematics and you are quite capable of drowning in your flood of stupidity in even more mundane matters. Since you are incessantly besieged by perverse conceptions of voices in the heads of other people because the deafening silence of any good sense oppresses you in your own totally empty head you must scrounge around manufacturing what must be in the minds of a mass of soldiers so buried in history that not even your mythical deity could dig out the truth. Evidently Caligula had his pants or his skirt on at the time (whatever was fashionable in those days) so he was not one of the troop of naked emperors you continue to parade through this site. I am not sure why naked emperors so fascinate you but there seems to be a tradition these days of Catholics entertained by naked behinds which is rather unfortunately out of sync with the current religious dogma. You mention that Caligula was a god which seems to indicate you believe in at least two deities. I have a hunch you are rather more confused than usual today.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-10 19:08:29
Point made, if we needed one by now. We are dealing with a real piece of work..., and the hilarity of it all resides in the fact that it parades as the solution, when in fact it is the problem. O tempora, o mores.

Sand2008-08-10 19:13:56
It's very hard to respond to a string of words totally without meaning. Of course solutions are always problems.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-11 09:13:19
Obviously Mr. S. in his abysmal ignorance and short sightedness has never heard of the story of the naked emperor by Christian Andersen. Here it is:

An emperor who cares too much about clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capital to show off his new "clothes". During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, "But he has nothing on!" The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth, but do not want to agree, for to do so would be acknowledging that they, too, were 'stupid'. In spite of the small child's observation, the Emperor obliviously holds his head high and continues the procession.

Sand2008-08-11 09:48:43
Age, Paparella, seems to have dimmed more than your basic thinking abilities. I am well acquainted with all of Anderson, Grimm, the Greek and Norse myths, the Christian Bible, and many other strange amusing and naive tales from many other cultures and need no retelling. What concerns me is not any particular tale but your fascination with naked emperors. Christianity throughout history has been horrified by the naked human body even to the amusing degree of plastering extra fig leaves on the naked sexual organs of classical statues to save the populace from seeing what they are well aware of what is there. The old tale of Adam and Eve being expelled from Eden for discovering that, equal to God, they too could create human beings is central to much of the perversion that pervades much of Christian dogma. Your repeated and avid choice of naked emperors, undoubtedly unprotected even by invisible fig leaves, is significant and somewhat disturbing in one who presents himself as sophisticated.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-11 14:16:03
Indeed, the emperor, obliviously holds his head high and continues the Punch and Judy Show. What else can the poor fellow do? He has put himself in a box. Your preoccupation with sex and its association with nakedeness, despite mental and bodily decrepitute, would indeed be quite revealing to a psychologist willing to study a distorted self-deceiving mind. Concerning the abysmal ignorance of what Christianity is all about, stop listening to the visiting voices. They are liars and deceivers.

Sand2008-08-11 14:47:39
It is quite obvious what Christianity is all about and also obvious that you seem to have run out of words trying to explain how confused you are about the situation so you keep saying the same strange things over and over again full of sound and fury conveying nothing.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-11 16:44:33
It is all quite obvious indeed; you couldn't have made it more obvious!

Sand2008-08-11 17:00:32
It's gratifying you approve my efforts and it's nice we finally agree.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-11 20:03:00
Indeed, we agree, your real agenda in this forum is obvious and evident to any reader of even average intelligent. It has precious little to do with wisdom and the search for truth but much to do with peddling your fallacious points of view on religion and reason itself, mistaken for rationalism. I am glad we agree too. Now that we do there is no more need for your propaganda and inveterate and rather tedious bashing.

Sand2008-08-11 20:34:22
Since you clearly cannot distinguish propaganda from truth nor, it is evident even read and understand what has been written, I shall charitably try to help you along before your obviously disintegrating mental facilities disappear altogether.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-11 22:30:59
Charity? How wonderful. Mr. S. had discovered charity. Now do the first charitable thing for the readers of this magazine and do what the King of Spain told Ugo Chavez to do not so long ago. They will surely be grateful for the end of the Punch and Judy show. After a while even the most impressive show repeated ad nauseam becomes tedious.

Sand2008-08-11 23:55:20
Your very quick and extensive response is a sure indication of your fascination for my input, especially since nobody else is interested.
Unfortunately, nothing new.

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-12 00:15:20
Indeed, that seems to be your feared nightmare: that a genuine scholarly dialogue may ensue and you'd stand out like a sore thumb with your vitriolic insults and reprehensible smears.

Sand2008-08-12 05:19:10
A scholarly debate, obviously, requires requires the participation of genuine scholars. I never claimed to be a scholar. I am merely an observant average guy with an interest in history, current events and sufficient integrity to spot a phony with a strong agenda for spreading personal prejudices disguised as scholarly revelation. You, on the other hand, have revealed yourself over and over again as a rather sloppy thinker with an overbearing mien who is highly sensitive to any correction of your distorted presentations and characterize them as bullying and smearing because you cannot honestly refute them with accepted history. Your entire approach is to indulge in character assassination in the manner of the late Senator McCarthy when confronted with facts and I must admit you are one of the most despicable pseudo-educated humans I have ever encountered. Which, of course, fascinates me in an extremely negative way.

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