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I'm sorry but I haven't fallen under anything.  This image, regardless of its
history, is one that has been used to parody and mock black people and
one they have found deeply offensive.  It is a fact that 19th Century single
women were called spinsters and were often treated badly, but it is also a
fact that women have used the image to make a point--as in JANE EYRE--
and that in Gissing's THE ODD WOMEN the women choose to be single
as a way of teaching for a greater future.  But that does not change the
fact that mockery of single women in other texts is offensive.  In the same
way, it does not matter if there are historical bases for seeing minstrelsy
as complex:  Peter did not use it that way.  He used it to be derisive.  And
I think that is deeply offensive.
Nancy



Date sent:              Mon, 9 Dec 2002 15:12:52 -0800
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Patrick Jean-Baptiste <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                OT-Orthodox view of Minstrelsy [was:Re: Some language is beyond the
                pale]
To:                     [log in to unmask]

You seem to have fallen under the orthodox theory of minstrelsy, which
reduces the form to a simplistic kind of travesty of black behavior. That's
only part of the story. Without getting too much into it, Hennig Cohen
reported the earliest known example of minstrel play in the slave
community at Charleston (1772). So minstrel behavior among blacks had
parodied whites from the start. Both black & white actors of the form
represent nothing more than this need to break out of their racial selves
and into the other. I don't find Peter's account offensive at all, perhaps
limited in perspective, but not offensive.

/patrick
--- Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Peter,
>
> This is the most offensive message ever posted on
> this list in the time I
> have been on it.  Have you no idea what you are
> saying?  Do you think
> that ludicrous icon masks or mitigates it?
>
> I hope I am not the only one who finds this
> astonishingly unacceptable.
>
> Nancy
>
>
> Date sent:              Mon, 9 Dec 2002 13:46:37
> -0800
> Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion
> forum." <[log in to unmask]>
> From:                   Peter Montgomery
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject:                Re: Watch out for the
> economy
> To:                     [log in to unmask]
>
> From: John Ryskamp
>
> You should worry less about differences between
> parties and start
> worrying that your economy, like the American, is
> about to fall apart.
> Here in California the State budget deficit is
> publicly stated to be $21
> billion. But do you know what the whisper number is?
>  SIXTY billion, and
> growing rapidly. Come about February you will see
> how bad it really is.  I
> suppose a lot of people on this thread are tenured
> professors--well, these
> are the folks they're talking about cutting here,
> even at prestigious
> Berkeley. You shouldn't get caught unaware by
> this--you're never really
> told how bad it is going to get, you have to ferret
> it out of people who
> have reason to know how revenues and sales are
> really doing: California is
> a disaster area, and if California sinks, America
> drowns (and Britain
> never had a chance). Start agitating for rights that
> will keep you in your
> housing regardless of what happens to the economic
> situation or your own
> economic situation.   Enuf bout Eliot--aux armes!
> ================================================ Yes
> Mark. And what do you
> do for an encore? Put on black face paint with white
> lips, and roll around
> on your bum?
>
> ;->
>
> Cheers,
> Peter
>
>
> >From: INGELBIEN RAPHAEL <[log in to unmask]>
> >Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
> <[log in to unmask]>
> >To: [log in to unmask]
> >Subject: Re: OT British politics (was Thatcher)
> >Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 19:45:47 +0100
> >
> >From Nancy:
> >
> > > I thought it very odd to see Labour called
> centrist and Lib-Dem not
> >(...)
> > > So I am still puzzled at the way you (Kate)
> define the parties.
> >
> >When one looks at issues like public services, it's
> hard to tell who is
> now
> >left of centre. In some respects, New Labour is
> more right-wing than
> the
> >Lib
> >Dems. Also, did you note Charles Kennedy's address
> to the TUC
> conference
> >this year?
> >
> >From Kate:
> >
> > > Labour is almost completely centrist, which is
> why they won so
> >decisively
> >in the last couple of
> > > elections
> >
> >It looks decisive if you consider their majority in
> the Commons. It
> looks
> >definitely less decisive if you consider the number
> of votes cast for
> >Labour. Blair never got as many votes as John Major
> in 1992 - or as
> >Thatcher in
> the
> >eighties. In some constituencies (often held by
> Labour), the turn-out
> at
> >the
> >last general election was a joke (less than 40%).
> The overall turnout
> was
> >slightly over 60% - an all-time low. How solid is
> popular support for
> >Blair, really?
> >
> > > rather, Labour was now the spokesperson for all
> of the middle class
> and
> >the best interests of Britain.
> >
> >Is there any dictionary that defines 'middle class'
> as a synonym of
> >'Britain' ?
> >
> > > He made it clear that improving their Health
> Service and Educational
> >system, and the interests of the
> > > nation as a whole, was more important than union
> interests
> >
> >That's presumably why Britain is now exporting
> patients to continental
> >hospitals. That's presumably why teacher shortages
> are growing at the
> same
> >rate as educational red tape.  That's presumably
> why the British
> university
> >system is heading for meltdown.
> >
> > > The Lib-Dems are now clearly to the left of many
> of Blair and
> Labour's
> >positions, the issue of Europe > and how intimate
> Britain should be in
> >their alliance being prominent among the issues.
> >
> >I wonder where that leaves the Europhile Tories who
> want to sign up to
> the
> >single currency. Are they left-wing? The Europhobia
> of the Tory
> leadership
> >certainly didn't help the party much at the last
> two elections.
> >
> >I'm sure Nancy could also point out that there are
> parts of Britain
> where
> >the Euro is popular - Scotland, for instance.
> Though I suspect that
> that
> >popularity is sometimes inspired by a rejection of
> English attitudes,
> more
> >than by a real grasp of what is at stake in the
> single currency.
> >
> >Yours,
> >
> >RaphaŽl
> >[log in to unmask]
>
>
>
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