Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A very sad week. It almost goes without saying that September 11 is a solemn day, but this year something else happened: Gary died on Sunday. Typing it is surreal. He had myelofibrosis for nearly  20 years, and it started getting worse about two years ago. In the spring it was decided that it was time for stem cell transplant, which he received on June 28. It engrafted, but he did not have enough healthy bone marrow for his numbers to go up. He received a booster on August 30, but developed pneumonia. Here is his obituary.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

This is maddening. Heslep (1996) assets in The Moral Presuppositions of Multicultural Education that because of multicultural education’s limits on tolerance, some of its advocates have tried to restrict hate speech, politically incorrect speech, and other “linguistic modes of cultural disrespect.”

According to Heslep, cultural respect is a virtue in multicultural society. Cultural disrespect is a vice because it is the opposite of cultural respect. Disrespect is also bad because it is offensive to individual members of targeted cultures; being offensive, it also is antagonizing, thereby encouraging cultural discord, another vice for multicultural education.

He argues that the use of a linguistic sign of cultural disrespect might offend members of the involved cultural group regardless of the innocent intention of the user of the sign. Such is the case with youth - sometimes they absorb elements from popular culture and don't understand the context of the words they casually use.

Then, some cultural groups have language of cultural disrespect as one of their features. Teaching intolerance of the language of cultural disrespect might be self-defeating in that it might promote cultural disrespect. Outsiders may judge users of those linguistic signs as being offensive, when the insiders do not mean each other harm. Heslep writes that multiculturalists answer that such intolerance is simply a necessary socially therapeutic act. A multicultural society cannot exist in harmony if any of its cultural groups are inclined to speak ill of each other.

How to remedy? It is not enough for multicultural educators to instruct their students to be intolerant of linguistic signs of cultural disrespect, explains Heslep. We must learn discernment - how to determine what the user of a linguistic sign actually intends in using it. Both speaker and listener are important. It is one thing to be intolerant of ethnic jokes whose users intend to be culturally disrespectful in telling them; it is another to be intolerant of such jokes when their users do not mean to be culturally disrespectful. They may be innocent, or ignorant, or mean-spirited.

Heslep is being generous - two decades later we tend to believe that what the speaker said hardly matters. What the listener heard is what is important, and if someone feels uncomfortable, those sentiments are valid and should be respected.

Yes, Chris Cuomo overreacted and his language is not what I'd use, but there is no question that the guy who said Fredo to him intended it as an ethnic slur. And who cares whether wop means guappo or without papers? You're really going to cite Google? It is also intended as an ethnic insult, no matter its origin. Maybe Casey Seiller & Rex Smith have never been called an ethnic slur or been close to anyone who has been insulted. But they shouldn't have to be to understand they are defending a wrong and being insensitive.

BTW, I have never seen or read any of the Godfather, nor have I watched the Sopranos.Not sure why that would invalidate a point of view.

And for something completely unrelated that I haven't bothered writing about here this year (although I do address on Facebook, to the (I suspect) chagrin of a (small) group of so-called "friends:"): It is animal abuse season, that disgusting time of year when the Capital District media, including the TU, gushes about how glamorous horse racing is and ignorant, plastic people can't wait to go to Saratoga. >:-(

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Still lots of things I can't write about. Finished the show I wrote about in the last post. It got better as the season went on and had a strong finish. The actors were strong and that helped.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

It is hard to write here, because I have so many things I cannot share! Then there are several I could share - but it's probably better if I don't. This is one of the advantages to the old, pre-tech, private journal model. Summer is rolling along. Lots of basil growing. Tomatoes aren't ripe yet. I don't want to go back to campus next month.

We've been watching a new Netflix series called "Tales of the City." It's actually the fourth season of a show from 1993. Every few years, they made another season with some of the same actors. They re-released Season 1, but did not release season 2 or 3. That is extremely annoying. My takeaway, Season 1 was WAY better than the latest season.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

I have really, really, really big exciting news that has to be kept secret...extremely hard!