Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

Watch Today in Tokyo: Word of the Day
April 25, 2018

‘Friend’

Correction: “Tomo” is friend. “Dachi” is like ‘ ‘s ‘, making it plural.

Watch Today in Tokyo: An Appeal to @Sam
April 5, 2018

On The Second Amendment
March 5, 2018

The glaring tragedy Justice Berger was talking about when he called the new interpretation of the 2nd Amendment “fraud” is about Standard English. I wouldn’t necessarily know this were I not focused on English as a language instructorーbut only illiterate and intellectually shallow interpretations of the 2nd Amendment result in its being seen as language specifically about private gun ownership.

What “Race” is Eminem?:
February 4, 2018

Are You A Member of A Sub-species? 

We all share different cultures. Look at Eminem. If you say his “race” is “white”, what do you mean? You must be referring to his his biology, right? – because of conventions in your language and your culture – and their interpretations of his apparent simplified color (He’s not really “white”, correct?; I mean, you don’t have to go to art school, as I have, to be able to tell white from an off-white or pale pink, do you?).

What If You Only Heard Eminem’s Music Before You first Saw Him? 
Imagine you had never seen Eminem’s face: If you were to attribute one homogenized cultural perspective or set of behaviors and attributes to Eminem’s sound, what would you be called?

What if You Saw Eminem’s Face, But Didn’t Hear His Speech or Music?
If you saw Eminem for the first time and did not hear him – you saw only his “whiteness”, omitting his character, demeanor, style of clothing, speech and music – would you be likely to think he was more than “white”, culturally? Would you be likely to feel he was multi-cultural? Then, were someone to tell you he was a musical performer, what kind of music would you guess his being involved in?

Automatic attributions and knee-jerk determinations about a person or group, especially before seeing and learning of the person or group, or in judging his or her “race” by other-than-certain means (though completely cognitively natural for most people, whether they admit the tendency or not) causes us to be vilified in much of today’s American and otherwise western neo-liberal culture. Were you to do this in regard to Eminem, as suggested in the scenarios above, you quickly would be labeled a “racist” by many politically “correct” people, wouldn’t you? “His culture is hip hop, inner city – more “black” than “white,” we could expect to hear, no? Or we would hear that he is an exception or that he is multi-cultural.

The On-The-Street Meaning of “Race”
“Race” includes biology, which makes no sense – because this suggests biologically distinct* differences in people- beyond superficiality- while in actuality, scientifically (really) – all noticeable differences between us are superficial, such as those in hair-, eye- and skin- color differences; you’re not a different race from your family-members for these reasons, are you? So why would you think you are a different “race” from others who possesses only this level of difference between you – general height, cheek bone and eye shape, ear-lobe attachment, or complexion? In fact, we judge by color when all else seems the same or similar! haven’t you seen two people of two different “races” who have virtually all the same or similar styles of physical features except for color and thought, ‘these persons seem to be from the same “race” except for color’? Why would the color variation between people be more a determining factor in “race” than their actual physical structural differences – which appear to be the same?! It’s like saying a tabby and a calico are not simply felis domesticus, just because they have different colors of fur!

These shallow differences do not stop the “races” (ethnicities with similar hereditary DNA strains, really) from mating across “racial lines” (ethnicities with similar hereditary DNA strains, really) – which is a major defining point in the argument between sub-species or species “races”. These differences don’t affect our behavior – unless there are strains for physical and mental ability being passed among a population that insists on only mating with those who look the same.

There are “white” Muslims, “white” Buddhists, “black” Republicans. Do you see? I am a multicultural Caucasian: I am a “white” man highly acculturated in the ways of the East – and this process is only going to increase when I move to Japan. What good is calling me a “white man”? It’s fucking nonsense.

These arbitrary broad-brushed categories are so porous that they are not categories once you take a closer lookㅡespecially if you do a genome sequencing: we share DNA from so many other “groups”!

Ever see a “brown” “black” personㅡa “black” “black” person? I lived in South Korea fifteen years. There are very dark South Koreans. Are they “black”? Why should eye and cheek-bone shape trump color – as I asked above? If two people of a species look similar but differ by color, you would think we should group them by color, like a red Tesla and Blue one, so why aren’t dark Philippine, Korean and African or West Indies people just “black”? Well, to some ignorant people, they are.

The Coup de Grace: We Blame And Claim
What is Obama? With a “white” father and “black” mother, is he an “Oreo”? (Well – what else should I call him?) Is that a “race”? Why is he called “black”?, because he looks “black”? Isn’t he heavy cream or light-brown?” “He’s the first black president.” That’s “racist” – from both the pride AND prejudice perspectives! Do we not see the stupidity in this word and the Devil’s Food richness of the thick-as-molasses use of it? (No pun intended “racially” – I mean ‘thick’ as in “stupid”.) One group blames him and the other claims him. He is neither “black” nor “white”. He is a Homo Sapiens Sapien. There are dark ones and light ones but they are all the same “race” (species and sub-species).

If you had a baby with a “black” woman or man – or a “white” woman or man -what “race” would it be? By “racial” reasoning, s/he would be a half-breed. In some countries in Asia, they still talk this way. However, there are no half-breeds of human at this time on the planet. There is no more than one sub-species and one species of human on the planet at this time (in this geological epoch) and we are all members of that group – period. It is an unequivocal scientific and anthropological fact. No one can claim differently without being incorrect. It is not a matter of “belief”, either (that stupid, meaningless and misleading word). There have not been two subspecies of human since the time of Cromagnon and Neanderthal Man. If you insist you are a different “race”, than you insist you are a scientific anomaly: a sub-species.

CA

© Carl Atteniese 2018, All Rights Reserved.

One Race Skull © Carl Atteniese, All rights Reserved
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*This word has a special meaning in biology
beyond differences in appearance

“Princess” Nokia’s Violence
October 13, 2017

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