The "Is This Racist?" Thread

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » June 28th, 2015, 11:15 pm

OTT chrome and OTT rims? Perfectly good vehicle probably made at least 25% less effective due to owner mods???

Yeah, could actually be redneck, Hispanic, black, Asian, any fan of F&F like Adam.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Mango » June 29th, 2015, 10:36 pm

This came up at work.

We are currently selling our 'patriotic' items due to the imminent holiday that prefaces my day of aging.
We have flasks that feature the image of a firecracker and the words "fire Water".

I get what they are going for but fire water is a term I've only ever heard applied when used to trick those 'evil injuns' out of their land via drink.
PErhaps I am wrong, feels racist though.
I'll try and get a picture.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » June 30th, 2015, 5:34 am

I am afraid I am having very racist thoughts about the table of American girls next to me in this restaurant in Hoi An. Not great ambassadors!

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » June 30th, 2015, 7:55 am

Why racist thoughts? Are the girls all white? If so, are they making you hate all white people?

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » June 30th, 2015, 7:57 am

OK - it's not racist. They are/were just being a very bad advert for Americans in a totally non-offensive but just so bloody "Amercian" way.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » June 30th, 2015, 8:01 am

Were they being incredibly loud? Outside of the entitled behavior of many young American tourists, the loudness is the thing that annoys me most. It's cringeworthy and embarrassing. I've pretended to be German just to keep American tourists from talking to me.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Mal Shot First » June 30th, 2015, 8:10 am

Mango wrote:This came up at work.

We are currently selling our 'patriotic' items due to the imminent holiday that prefaces my day of aging.
We have flasks that feature the image of a firecracker and the words "fire Water".

I get what they are going for but fire water is a term I've only ever heard applied when used to trick those 'evil injuns' out of their land via drink.
PErhaps I am wrong, feels racist though.
I'll try and get a picture.
In the same vein, is "Fire Water Burn" a racist song? Or just a racist song title?

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » June 30th, 2015, 9:01 am

The title, itself, is written in the stereotypical cadence of a Native American. It's something you could imagine a Hollywood representation of a Native American saying after taking his first drink of whisky.

I don't remember the song lyrics making any actual references to alcohol, so the thing "fire water" is usually a euphemism for may not be present. Instead, "fire," "water," and "burn" can be taken quite literally--even though the chorus they're a part of is lifted from a Rock Master Scott song that uses it metaphorically to describe a particularly energetic dance floor. The suggestion in the Rock Master Scott song is that they dance so hard it sets the place on fire, but they're so into their dance they decide to dance through it. The chorus is decontextualized somewhat in the Bloodhound Gang song.

I don't remember any negative references to non-white people, though Jimmy Pop does make a handful of negative references to his own whiteness. I remember the references being self-effacing. I think he calls himself a dumb white guy and follows another mention of his whiteness with the revelation that he has a small penis. He mentions not being black like Barry White and being white like Frank Black. This is more observational than negative, I think.

Speaking of Frank Black, the song is soaked in Pixies. There's a paraphrase of a line from "Monkey Gone to Heaven," and the song's progression is pretty similar to the progression of the latter half of the Pixies' "The Happening." (The specificity is there to make a distinction between the Pixies' "The Happening" and the Supremes' "The Happening.") "Monkey Gone to Heaven" and "The Happening" are on two different Pixies albums. My guess is that Jimmy Pop is a pretty big Pixies fan.

Anyway, to get back to the question of the song's potential racism:

I'm not sure how racist it is, or even if Jimmy Pop recognizes the title as something a Native American might say. If he does, he's probably just making a loose connection between that and the Rock Master Scott chorus. Most of the song's lyrics are loosely connected jumbling of pop culture references and similes in keeping with some generic idea of nineties rap. (I think of excessive simile use as being a nineties rap thing more than an eighties rap thing, even though the quoted chorus comes from an eighties rap song. There's a simile sprinkled here and there in, say, early N.W.A and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, but it doesn't seem like a major feature to me. If you compare nineties-era Will Smith to his eighties-era Fresh Prince days, you'll see the nineties-era Smith leaning a lot more heavily on simile. If you compare the eighties Beastie Boys to the nineties Beastie Boys, similarly, you'll see more similes in the nineties stuff.) It seems likely that he went with that title because he liked the sound of it. If he did recognize the racist potential of the title, he either didn't care or assumed the humorous nature of the song would shield him.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » June 30th, 2015, 9:11 am

Here are those Pixies songs, by the way, if you haven't heard them:




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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Mal Shot First » June 30th, 2015, 9:18 am

That's actually way deeper than I've cared to analyze the song.

My question wasn't meant to be taken all that seriously. I didn't see it as a racist song title; at least not in the sense that it was trying to say anything about Native Americans. It seems more like a synthesis of the chorus, as you wrote. It follows the metric scheme of the major recognizable portion of the chorus (MO-ther FUC-ker BURN == FI-re WA-ter BURN) and summarizes the main elements of the chorus ("roof is on fire" - "we don't need no water" - "let that motherfucker burn").

It's a clever way to self-censor the title, which easily could have been "Motherfucker, Burn."

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » June 30th, 2015, 9:28 am

Man. I just reminded myself how much I love the Pixies. Those guys were somethin' else.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » June 30th, 2015, 10:00 am

The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:Were they being incredibly loud? Outside of the entitled behavior of many young American tourists, the loudness is the thing that annoys me most. It's cringeworthy and embarrassing. I've pretended to be German just to keep American tourists from talking to me.
Six turn up, all in requisite Spring a Break But Not Bikini attire, into this charming little restaurant in the old town. Proceed to take at least three minutes loudly debating where they are all going to sit around the table.

"I can't sit there, there is no air." "I can't sit there, I want the view." "Well I don't like sitting with my back to the room."

Then they complain loudly about it being hot as if they didn't realise they were coming to the tropics and as if complaining means somebody will do something about it.

Then when the waitress comes up they just talk as if English isn't her second language using phrases like "Entree" and "Split it".

And then they start to dismantle the menu. "This says dark rum, can you make this cocktail with spiced rum instead?" "Pork or shrimp?? No, can you make it with chicken?" "I don't want noodles, can I have split rice?"

My favourite was "It's not a mojito without raw sugar!"

And when discussing travel options onto Hue they declared loudly that the train and the bus wasn't safe for women so they would have to take a car and driver. Despite the fact that just about every corner of Vietnam is safer than just about any corner of the USA. Actually - thinking everywhere that isn't the U.S. is very, very dangerous does seem to be a U.S. thing.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » June 30th, 2015, 10:10 am

Loud and entitled. It's the U.S. tourist's way.

What time will you be meeting up with them later? Which one(s) do you think you'll bang?

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Mal Shot First » June 30th, 2015, 10:18 am

Dalty wrote:
The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:Actually - thinking everywhere that isn't the U.S. is very, very dangerous does seem to be a U.S. thing.
It's hard not to be paranoid about this kind of thing when you hear stories. My mother-in-law's stepson (who is British, by the way) wasn't all that concerned about his safety on his trip to Barcelona, but then he and his friend were drugged at a bar and totally cleaned out while they were passed out. They woke up in an alley a few blocks from the bar. The only person to handle their drinks was the bartender. When they reported this to the police in England, they were told that reports of this kind of thing have been popping up and that it was most likely the bartender collaborating with the bouncer who were behind it.

Anyway, this doesn't mean that you have to be afraid for your life wherever you go (maybe you should be, though), but I've never been drugged at a bar in the U.S. Admittedly, I can't say what kind of bar they went to. Maybe it was the Getting-Drugged-and-Mugged Bar in Barcelona.

Being afraid of getting totally cleaned out/robbed/stabbed is why I'll probably never visit any part of Eastern Europe... and I was born in Eastern Europe!
Last edited by Mal Shot First on June 30th, 2015, 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Mal Shot First » June 30th, 2015, 10:19 am

The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:Loud and entitled. It's the U.S. tourist's way.

What time will you be meeting up with them later? Which one(s) do you think you'll bang?
Which one do you think you'll marry?

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » June 30th, 2015, 10:46 am

Mal Shot First wrote:[H]e and his friend were drugged at a bar....
Pretty much all these stories feature "at a bar" and/or "at a club" pretty prominently. The thing I've taken away from this: steer clear of bars and clubs if you're a native English speaker traveling to a place where English isn't the native language. I've found this remarkably easy to do.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by neglet » June 30th, 2015, 8:33 pm

The Swollen Goiter of God wrote:Were they being incredibly loud? Outside of the entitled behavior of many young American tourists, the loudness is the thing that annoys me most. It's cringeworthy and embarrassing. I've pretended to be German just to keep American tourists from talking to me.
Don't get me wrong, Americans can be obnoxiously loud, but don't ask a Brit to judge. I still remember the country walk I and some American friends took through a public forest one time, chatting to each other as we went. Most of us were also wearing brightly colored rain gear, and a local snidely remarked as we passed that we were like a bunch of parrots. This was a bunch of moms, not twittering teenagers, but we were still too loud for Lady Snooty.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » June 30th, 2015, 8:44 pm

You must have been really going for it if the criticism went beyond an exaggerated tutting!!! You unruly yobbos, you!!

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by neglet » July 1st, 2015, 7:30 pm

Yes, how dare we not whisper whilst traipsing through a public park!

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » July 2nd, 2015, 2:01 am

I bet one of you was expressing an emotion or something too, you shatterers of the peace. Dammit, be repressed!!

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » January 12th, 2016, 2:41 am

I'm pretty sure this one's racist:

Image

(Context: Clemson just played Alabama for the NCAA national championship in football. Clemson lost. The suggestion is that kids in Africa will be benefiting from this loss and getting a shipment of shirts declaring Clemson the victor. [Retailers often print up one set of shirts declaring one side the winner and another declaring the other side the winner. This way, they'll have shirts ready to sell within seconds of game's end. They charge insanely high prices for these shirts to cover the loss on the other shirts. People rush out and buy the shirts so they can wear them to school or work the next day.)

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » January 14th, 2016, 1:02 pm

So a lot of people have been complaining about Idris Elba as the gunslinger. A lot of other people have been calling them racist for doing so.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by The Swollen Goiter of God » January 14th, 2016, 2:07 pm

Is there a real reason--despite the text's comparison of the character's looks to Clint Eastwood's--that the Gunslinger should be white? I mean, does the story change? Are subtexts added? If so, are the changes necessarily bad?

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » January 14th, 2016, 2:09 pm

I don't know - I have never read the books.

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Re: The "Is This Racist?" Thread

Post by Dalty » February 17th, 2016, 2:32 pm


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