Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:15 am

We're a species? See, this is how you justify killing humans or at least treating them really bad. At least with religion you think that all humans have souls and human feelings.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:16 am

Palestinians are closer DNA wise to Hebrews than most Israeli jews, according to Schlomo Sand.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:28 am

I say disingenuous because you know people don't consider anthropology when exercising prejudice. The finer points of such distinctions have nothing to do with racism as practiced since...well, forever. Two people, one Italian the other Irish, both with black hair and blue eyes, slight variation in hue, can (have and probably occasionally still do) have a savage revulsion toward each other on the basis of "race." It may be cultural, but it doesn't matter since the distinction is made based on what used to be called "blood." The "sheeny" and the "wop" will see each other as, for all practical purposes, different races, hence racism. So when you say and Arab can't be a racist, it must be a deliberate misunderstanding of what that constitutes.

Yes, there is a human "species" and we are all the same by that metric. Yes, there are three major physiological variations, which constitute what self-congratulating egalitarians take as the basis for racism while then trying to ignore the vast range of distinctions among those three groupings. (The Manchurians traditionally hated the Hansa because they all had big feet and were slow-witted.) I'm simply challenging a generalization that doesn't maintain on the ground, in the street, historically.

Frank, we are a species---just like every other living creature on the planet and all those we haven't found yet off-planet. Stop for a minute and consider that the justifications for killing each other might be blunted if we really did see ourselves as simply a single species. How we see "ourselves" isn't the problem, is it? It's how we see Others. Or, should I say, The Other.

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Robert Nason
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:52 pm

Well, people continually misuse the words "less" and "fewer," but that doesn't mean I have to, and I will continue to expect others to use them correctly, too. (Just as I expect politicians to pronounce "nuclear correctly, and not as "NUKE-u-ler," which so many do including George W. Bush, which is one criticism of him I gladly accept.

It drives me crazy when people call Jews a race. They're a religion and a people, an ethnicity, if you like (but in fact multiple ethnicities, but not a race. (The Falashas, or Ethiopian Jews, are black, but still Jews, so in what sense would Jews be a race when they're composed of whites, blacks, and even asians; not to mention that anyone can convert and become a Jew.)

This expanded use of "race" has to stop. Are we to call gays a race? Stamp collectors? Subscribers to The New York Times?

Fear and hatred of the Other is prejudice, and should be fought. But let's not confuse matters by constantly bringing race into it when it doesn't apply.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:20 pm

It has been stopping. Winston Churchill often applied the term Race to whatever ethnicity or nationality he was talking about. we were the "American Race" to him, which is kind of laughable, but it was shorthand, like science fiction being whatever it is you point at when you say the word. I agree with you, it has to stop, but neither you nor I is responsible for the way it is (mis)used, and yet it would be foolish not to acknowledge that misuse had real power. As far as the race bigot is concerned, all our definitions are beside the point. Don't confuse them with the facts, their hate is set. No culture is immune, hence my original objection.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:25 pm

An Arab can indeed be a racist. Racism dislikes another person for physical attributes related to ancestral geographic heritage. (African, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic)

Judaism is a religion, but is also used by people with a bigoted point of view to describe an ethnic group.

It comes down to which particular brand of hatred you practice, I guess.

(In college I went with some friends to a gay nightclub up in West Hollywood. I was, and am, secure enough this was fine by me and only seemed fair to my gay friends who had been to hetero clubs with me.

(At one point in the evening a snarly woman was hanging around outside the bar, obviously having had too much to drink. In my more blunt days I would have described her as a bulldyke -- at the time not an insult but a description of a particular lesbian sub grouping. She was a nasty drunk, and when she saw me with my friends she got in my face: "I fucking hate faggots," she said. I shrugged and said that was too bad "some of my best friends are gay"...but also noting I was straight. "Fuck you," she replied, "I hate breeders even more!"

(The bottom line, of course (no pun intended), is that she hated men. Period. Had nothing to do with sexuality, it had to do with gender. Some people simply hate, and whether it's racism, sexism, or several other kinds of isms, it comes down to simply hating people who are not like us...simply because they're not like us. The degree of variation from "OUR norm" is completely arbitrary.)

Just sayin'.
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:57 pm

Barber -- that was a hilarious story about you in the gay nightclub. I also recall also being taken by friends to a gay nightclub once when I was in college, but nobody talked or paid the slightest attention to me. I was and completely straight, yet in some indefinable way my feelings were slightly hurt.

I never said that Arabs can't be racist - of course they can. So can anyone. I was saying that you can't be racist against Arabs because Arabs don't constitute a race. Someone might hate them as an ethnicity, or even ignorantly hate them as a race, but that doesn't make them one. We seem to have had a slight semantic misunderstanding here.

The ultimate statement (or at least one) on hatred of the Other is Fred Pohl's story, "The Day the Martians Came" in DANGEROUS VISIONS.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Robert Nason
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:01 pm

Correction: The story's full title is "The Day After the Day the Martians Came." The fixup novel Pohl later incorporated the story into was titled "The Day the Martians Came."
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:51 pm

Robert Nason wrote:So when you say and Arab can't be a racist, it must be a deliberate misunderstanding of what that constitutes.


When you realize I misunderstood this,it becomes rather ironic.

And thanks for the reference to Pohl's story. I'll look it up -- probably read it a hundred years ago so it will be new again.

(Senility allows us to re-experience all the wonder of our youth, isn't that grand?)

(And yes, I understand the hurt feelings. What, I'm not good enough???)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Robert Nason
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:07 pm

I recently read the 1973 Marvel comics adaptation of the story in my treasured copy of issue #1 of WORLDS UNKNOWN, scripted by Gerry Conway and with splendid art by Ralph Reese. You can read the entire 6-page adaptation in living color here:

http://bronzeageofblogs.blogspot.com/20 ... e.html?m=1
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:08 pm

Anthropologists today delineate three primary races: Caucasion, Negro, and Asian.

But you know after the results of the Human Genome Project even this idea has come to have a quaint Victorian aroma. All these secondary physiological characteristics only appeared at the end of the last glaciation, less than ten thousand years ago. It never fails to amuse me to remind my less enlightened relatives down in Jawjuh that white skin came later. Once everybody had dark skin. Of course most of them are hung up on the six day thing and don't get the joke.


We're a species? See, this is how you justify killing humans or at least treating them really bad. At least with religion you think that all humans have souls and human feelings.

No Frank, it's just the opposite. The results of evolutionary science have been to continually diminish the more apparent than real differences between not only human beings but other animals as well. Many animals exhibit most of the characteristics you seem to identify as the "soul". Sympathy, empathy, compassion, grief etc. Remind yourself that there is only 2% genetic difference between humans and our nearest primate relatives. It's a helluva 2% but it is only 2%. This realization hasn't made it easier to kill human beings. It's made it harder to dismiss the lives and experience of animals.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Robert Nason
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:20 pm

And there's an even more infinitesimal fraction of 2% genetic difference between a woman who gets your motor racing and one who leaves you in neutral -- but oh, what a difference!
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:01 pm

Robert Nason wrote:I never said that Arabs can't be racist - of course they can. So can anyone. I was saying that you can't be racist against Arabs because Arabs don't constitute a race.


Well....


Frank, it's impossible to be "an Arab racist," because the Arabs are not a separate race

That sentence reads to me like a statement that an Arab can't be a racist. I concede it could be taken as you suggest, but it's much easier to read it the way I evidently did.

But on that point, exactly what do you think such epithets as "towelhead" are born of?

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:30 pm

Okay. One more time. This is the quotation from Frank that prompted my reply:
You do know Khalidi is a major expert on the middle east. While Pipes is an arab racist.

Frank wasn't saying that Pipes is an Arab who's a racist. He was saying he's racist towards Arabs, and I pointed out that the Arabs are not a race. Unless Frank thinks Daniel Pipes is an Arab (which he's not), in which case I misread him. In any case, I believe Daniel Pipes is the son of the Polish-born Jewish-American Russian scholar (whew!) Richard Pipes, whom I'll bet dollars to doughnuts Frank doesn't like either.

Is everything clear now?
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Robert Nason » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:37 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Palestinians actuallyare closer DNA wise to Hebrews than most Israeli jews, according to Schlomo Sand.


This reminds me of Arthur Koestler's controversial book THE THIRTEENTH TRIBE, whose thesis (long-since refuted) was that most of today's Jews of Eastern European descent are not related to the ancient Hebrews but rather to the Khazars, whom he claims were mass-converted to Judaism around the 11th century. Who cares about Palestinian DNA. Israel is the Jewish homeland.
"Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times." - David Ben-Gurion


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