Discussion in 'The Sanctum Santorum' started by Anders Hallin, Dec 20, 2012.
That would be Belgium.
I believe that qualifies as one kilosatan.
You know who else was one kilosatan?
I just decided that this will be the thread where I shall post weird shit about Sweden in.
This is what we grew up watching every single New Years Eve. I still laugh my ass off to some of the things in it and just watched it with my kids.
National defensiveness is a funny thing.
There are two major things that spring to mind that Canada gets criticized for in a way that often evokes knee-jerk defensiveness, including to some extent from me. Both of them are areas in which existing Canadian practice could bear improvement, but also where the mode of international criticism tends to irritate the bejesus out of me.
A) The Albertan oil-sands/tar-sands, both of which labels feel like they need air-quotes given how politicized they've been. This has come up in various energy/pollution threads here and on Qt3, but the long and the short of it is, I feel they're dirty enough that a carbon tax would (and ideally should) curtail their growth and competitiveness with other energy sources, but they're not, as they're often portrayed, a sort of drying-of-the-Aral-Seas/Black-Triangle Soviet-style attempt to murder earth, either.
Most of the pollution happens at the tailpipe (and that's actually the bottom-line of reasoned objections to the wider exploitation of the oil) but it's the lakes full of tailings killing off flocks of ducks that sell the thing as an environmental nightmare that should be the subject of international punitive measures. That irks, coming from people who don't seem to know that their friendly neighborhood coal power plant probably has a tailings pond too, or that what the Sierra Club is really after is their SUV, not saving X number of ducks per year. Should I just not object to people using arguments that appeal to a wide audience?
B) The Atlantic seal hunt. I'm not an enthusiast of big wild animal hunts, or insensible of the cuteness of baby seals. And vegetarians like Pamela Anderson and Morrissey probably object just as much to veal as they do to killing baby seals. But in practice it's a tiny amount of the animal slaughter conducted around the world annually for a thousand commercial reasons and it's hard not to be offended being singled out a blood-drenched barbarians when some place down the street from Morrisey probably sells sliced-baby-cow and roast-baby-sheep every day without him cancelling concert tours.
That said, there's a lot of well-worn Canadian BS - like exaggerating the seals' negative impact on the itself-environmentally-dubious commercial fishery, or the whole "most-seals-are-shot-a-few-are-clubbed" sub-argument, which always makes me wonder why the fuck anybody is clubbing any seals given the horrific optics of slaughtering adorable seal babies to begin with.
Either example could be the subject of  with respect to my opinions, and I've only briefly summarized the criticisms that could be levelled at Canadian practices. But usually when I hear about either subject in the international press I get ready to grit my teeth at policy caricature.
Eh, they all look alike to me.
I think the term you're probably looking for is "drag." That's the closest to what you're describing. I imagine some people get up in arms about it, but I think it's more complex as drag is often playing with the idea of femininity as presented in and by popular culture, not just women in particular. You could even say it's a deconstruction of the beauty-industrial complex created ideal of what femininity is. Perhaps that's too generous, but we live in a world where the ideal fashionable woman has the body of a 12 year old boy.
Rest assured though, there are plenty of people, new wave feminists especially, who feel trans-anything is incredibly sexist and mysogynistic. If you want a depressingly hate filled experience, try reading their blogs on the topic. That's not to say there isn't some mysogyny in some aspects of the gender variant spectrum. There is a steady strain amongst some transvestites and crossdressers whose ideas of femininity have women locked into subservient roles. Some of which is a product of sex roles and power fantasies, but that's further off topic and I've strayed enough as it is.
We had a pretty good discussion going about this once, before the entire thread was StGabe'd.
I didn't want to join this discussion because I don't want to be seen as a frothing chauvinist like MarinusWA, but this just requires a response.
Sinterklaas is not a manufactured symbol like Santa Claus. It's an organic tale combining many aspects of history as far back as pre-Christian paganism. Some of that history is nowaday considered bad, such as slavery. Because, you know, things change. The Netherlands, like the USA, once embraced slavery, but we do no longer.
But aspects of that bad history remain in the symbolism. Absolutely, the current depiction of Black Pete stems from a culture of slavery and racism, there is no question about that.
However, I think it's important to be able to separate symbolism and intent. Sinterklaas nowadays has absolutely nothing to do with depicting African people as inferior to white people. In fact, nowadays Black Pete has all sorts of impressive abilities while Sinterklaas is more of a senile old man. The intent is definitely not racist, so it sucks to be labeled as racist based on the symbolism.
Don't take me as defending the racist symbolism. The Dutch as a people need to rethink parts of our traditions, but it's not going to be fueled by lazy judgments from across the globe. Americans, I'm sorry you're disappointed that we are not as far along with eschewing racist imagery as you are. But realize that the knee-jerkiness with regards to racist imagery specifically stems from the fact that the US itself has not come to terms with its own past.
In short: change is gon' come, oh yes it is, but not because some dipshits on the other side of the world have their knee-jerk responses set off by taking symbolism at face value.
In majority-black areas, Santa claus is often played by *GASP* black people. Why can't Black Pete be played by fair-skinned Dutchmen if there are no dark-skinned Dutchmen around to fill the role?
Yeah, but basically never in the media, unless it's a jokey play on Santa in the inner city.
He is. With black makeup.
Without the makeup. Black santas don't wear whiteface, because, well, that'd be fucking stupid.
Black Santas are almost always a thing by and for the black community so they don't feel excluded from historically white Christmas traditions. The Dutch equivalent would be having a black Sinterklaas and a white Black Pete. Which would be weird because he has "Black" in his name.
Retcon that to describe his soul.
That makes it worse!
Make him a sentient golem, crafted of obsidian. Or I guess coal would make more sense for Christmas.
Thinking about it a little more, if Coke put a black Santa Claus on all of their cans in America this year, people would flip the fuck out. Although it would be for a different reason than white Black Pete.
Yeah, but it would be just as convenient for spotting racist dickbags as Black Heimdall. Actually more convenient, since it would reach more eyeballs.
I would buy more Coke if they had a black Santa.
A black Jesus prominently displayed in the White House at Christmas-time would be even more awesome.
I would buy more Jesus....
I'd buy more White Houses.
I'm still holding out hope that Obama repaints the White House black.
Different intents, perhaps? Portraying certain character with defined characteristics vs assimilating commercial icon -- if the case was the former rather than the latter it is, then i don't actually see why a black person putting on white makeup (to portray a white person) would be "fucking stupid".
I see a white house and I want it painted black
No marble any more I want it to turn black
- Rolling Obsidians
Get the British in on that.
Separate names with a comma.