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View Diary: The Important Thing Is My Opinion Doesn’t Matter (273 comments)

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  •  Inquiring Cultures Want to Know (4+ / 0-)

    I understand that there was a time when the word "culture" has an entirely different meaning than it does today:  that it referred to an English/Occidental -oriented viewpoint on the civilization of another tribe and the degree to which they resemble the Englishman's definition of culture; i.e., his own.  There was only one "culture", and it was England.  We all were measured by that standard, and it was imposed on the world at the time as the final arbiter of all discussions centred on the maturity of a peoples.  The Brits have been extremely arrogant throughout history!

    They also defined vulgarity, obscenity, and what is and what is not offensive; they wrote the playbook on it, and we Americans adopted most of it, as did much of the European nations.

    This was all to the degradation of Young Turks and Irishmen and certain Scots (or perhaps Welsh, i don't know), who found themselves wanting in the noble Englishman's eyes and were relegated to second fiddle.

    On the other hand, as George Carlin points out, and much to the chagrin of that woman who posted last week (Stop It Now, Please People), the word "retarded" was never accorded more of an insulting demeanor than the word "crippled" or the word "Negro", for that matter; these were taxonomic classifications given by oh, let's just keep blaming the Englishman while we're already here, shall we?

    The point is that this constant lording it over people by a priveleged class gets old.  We cannot see why this attitude has resulted in such a level of frustration that, once the voices are free to speak out, they contain such rancor and ire that we are offended.

    Pearl-clutching is a privilege, I suppose, and a dodge to cover up the real obscenity of imperialism and class-based oppression.

    All of this being said, I disagree with such vulgarity, and those who applaud it would destroy the constructs built (by Englishmen) in the past.  That is, they would challenge you - as I see you have already done the work for them by seemingly discrediting your own opinion as if it were something entirely subjective, like the definition of vulgarity.

    But such attitudes deny us the ability to form communities; are barriers to our communication and shared experiences.  This is perhaps because we do not share experiences.

    Still, people who offend to attract do more harm to our cause than good.  The solution to years of oppression is not retaliation, but such is the human condition that it seems the first resort for most.

    Yes, you could replace "Englishman" with "Catholic" if you like.  As you say, you recognize fascism; don't you recognize the patterns of the imperialist, the colonist?

    If your opinion doesn't matter, no one person's opinion matters.  I don't think that's right; I think that goes in the wrong direction.  I would rather try to explain why the opinions of some matter all too much.  Can't we have nuance, understanding, a seeking out of common ground?  Must we be so bold, decisive, "edgy", that we win a million battles but never engage the enemy we are turly fighting against after all?

    •  Interesting contribution. Thanks (5+ / 0-)

      For the record, the English destroyed the welsh parliament that gave equal property rights to women centuries before any other did, banned our language and tried to destroy our culture.

      Well, no matter. two weeks ago we thrashed them when we met on the rugger field of the Millennium Stadium and we sang our songs in our ancient language  :)

      I don't think the things that I refer to in my diary are owned or defined by the Brits or by class. I found more good old fashioned courtesy in West Virginia three years ago than I could ever show you in Gwynedd today.

      •  Even George Bush Has Got Soul (0+ / 0-)

        No, not owned by them anymore.  But we are all living the paradigm that was established oh, so long ago.  And yes!  To the extent that we are changing, the distribution, if you will, of social arbitrage is reflected in that change.  The Englishman doesn't get to make all the rules anymore; there are a million "cultures"!

        I think rugby and soccer are better than war, violence, and strife, don't you?

        Thanks Welshman; Here's a tip of the glass to good old fashioned courtesy.  Would that it were always earned by Catholics, the English, and even Geo W.

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