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Thread: Politically Correct Sensitivity vs. Parody -- how close to the line is "oops, too close?"

  1. #51
    we are the words 'i love you' kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archerbird View Post
    Yes, that's exactly the same.

    Personally I don't want the meaning of the swastika to change back. Why should it? Why would anyone want to?
    Huh?? I don't understand this argument. The swastika was an important symbol of good and peaceful things to many peoples before the Nazis desecrated it. Why do you want those peoples to never be able to use it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Williebee View Post
    Thank you! I was thinking of this but couldnt remember the name.
    That and the Native American take on the swastika.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 15 June 2015

  2. #52
    That hairy-handed gent
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclary View Post
    In summary: once a symbol or word has been used negatively or for great harm, it is now sacrosanct, and cannot be used for anything else, nor have its meaning changed or altered, for fear of forgetting the vile things done with it.
    Possibly not forever, but there's no question not enough time has passed for the horror of the Nazis to become a dusty historical artifact. Proof of that being the fact that the Nazi swastika remains in use today by neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups, with their full and expressed intent of adulating what Hitler did. As long as those types are around, that symbol remains verboten for much of any other purpose.

    caw

  3. #53
    Shut Up and Write Sarashay's Avatar
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    How about we just come up with a better way of indicating that someone is persnickety about grammar without invoking one of the most horrific wars in the history of humanity?
    'shay

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  4. #54
    Delerium ex Ennui Xelebes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarashay View Post
    How about we just come up with a better way of indicating that someone is persnickety about grammar without invoking one of the most horrific wars in the history of humanity?
    Grammaticaster?

  5. #55
    Who let this guy in...? JohnnyGottaKeyboard's Avatar
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    Gramminator!
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  6. #56
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Echoing all those who say that you can't 'rehabilitate' or 'reclaim' a word that others are still actively using as a vile symbol.
    It's not from some vague forgotten past. My mother was a Polish Catholic, taken, with a lot of Slavic people, as slave labour. It won't be 'a long time ago' until sometime after I'm dead.
    Especially if you're not trying to return the symbol to it's earlier, quasi-religious origins, but to use it as an advertising gimmick.

    I would assume that someone using the swastika as a religious symbol would be wearing it 'in context' with religious regalia or as a design element, and not as a giant red-and-black icon on a t-shirt.

    If I saw someone wearing a swastika on a t-shirt, I wouldn't step closer to see that it's made of little words, or that there's fine print explaining that it's being used in some other context. I'd just think "Scum", avert my eyes, and walk quickly away. I wouldn't ask for an explanation, any more than I'd ask a guy with a banner exactly what he means by 'Neo-Nazi'.

  7. #57
    we are the words 'i love you' kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
    Echoing all those who say that you can't 'rehabilitate' or 'reclaim' a word that others are still actively using as a vile symbol.
    Why not?

    People still use "nigger" as a slur.

    And especially why not for those who used it before the Nazis desecrated it?
    (a blog.) ...last updated 15 June 2015

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    Why not?

    People still use "nigger" as a slur.

    And especially why not for those who used it before the Nazis desecrated it?
    Just to be clear, it's "nigga," not "nigger" and if anyone not black started throwing it around (well, a lot of black people don't even approve of their own using it) it wouldn't be seen as cool. My parents use it. I don't. It feels wrong. I feel like hitting those dumbass white kids who throw it around like they're wannabe gangsters.

    The word isn't any more rehabilitated or reclaimed than "chink," "kike," "wet back," or "cunt." Just because the group that the insult is designated for uses it, doesn't mean it's reclaimed and rehabilitated. My Mexican friends might joke around and call themselves beaners, but I don't jump in with them.

    As for whether or not you should use the swastika for it's original use, well, I don't care. As long as you're aware that there are those who still have negative feelings attached to the symbol, and you don't act outraged when they express said feelings. And pretty much this, too:
    I would assume that someone using the swastika as a religious symbol would be wearing it 'in context' with religious regalia or as a design element, and not as a giant red-and-black icon on a t-shirt.

    If I saw someone wearing a swastika on a t-shirt, I wouldn't step closer to see that it's made of little words, or that there's fine print explaining that it's being used in some other context. I'd just think "Scum", avert my eyes, and walk quickly away. I wouldn't ask for an explanation, any more than I'd ask a guy with a banner exactly what he means by 'Neo-Nazi'.
    Pretty much my thoughts. Cultural appropriation sucks, but it happens. Until WWII is a thing of the past, I'd see it as pretty insensitive to use it as a logo, or a public spiritual marker where thousands of Jews might be present because intent simply does not matter.

    In a way, I'd almost say it's like Zwarte Piet. Almost. Not quite.

    I suppose I simply don't know what's the big deal is about reclaiming symbols and words. As a black female, I have no interest in reclaiming "nigger," "bitch," "cunt," "slut," etcetera, let alone words that offend other groups, regardless of their previous meanings. Words evolve, but if we're even having this discussion, they probably haven't evolved enough.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    Huh?? I don't understand this argument. The swastika was an important symbol of good and peaceful things to many peoples before the Nazis desecrated it. Why do you want those peoples to never be able to use it again?
    But in short, because what the symbol currently represents has done far more harm than what it used to represent has done good. I don't care what it used to represent, symbols change, and for now it's broken.

    But okay, maybe, far into the future, when it's no longer used by nazi groupings, and people no longer find forgotten weapon depots in their backyard, it could be changed back. And even then, I don't think it's a good idea to make the symbol something to laugh about.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGottaKeyboard View Post
    You sound a bit like Eric Cartman: "Screw you guys, I'm going home."
    I look a lot like him too. So respect my authoritah before I kick you squaw in the bawls.
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  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by thebloodfiend View Post
    Just to be clear, it's "nigga," not "nigger" and if anyone not black started throwing it around (well, a lot of black people don't even approve of their own using it) it wouldn't be seen as cool.
    Your argument here is that if I were a european minority (jew, gypsy, etc) and turned the legs on the swastika backward, it would be ok, but no one else could do that?

    Sorry, I'm a little too anti-semantical to believe that.
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  12. #62
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclary View Post
    Your argument here is that if I were a european minority (jew, gypsy, etc) and turned the legs on the swastika backward, it would be ok, but no one else could do that?

    Sorry, I'm a little too anti-semantical to believe that.
    Wait -- what?

    I thought the point was that whoever is oppressed by a word or sign gets to say what is done with the word or sign. And the consensus of the people harmed by the Nazis is basically, "swastikas -- blech, phooey," (as a friend of mine in college was wont to say).

    And, by the way, a backwards swastika is a sauvastika, and thank you, art history class. I never thought I'd be able to use that piece of info in casual conversation.

  13. #63
    Ruining your porn since 1984 BunnyMaz's Avatar
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    The point is, it's kind of self-centred for someone who has no meaningful connection to the people effected by a thing to decide how that thing should be viewed.

    As a queer person, it's my choice to decide that I want to identify specifically as queer, rather than using any other terms, despite the history of that word. Words mean things, and there is a big difference between "I am queer" and "you are queer". Identity matters.

    Culture also matters. For example, two days ago I had faggots for dinner, with mashed potatoes and mushy peas. These chunky, rich balls of offal have been a traditional - if declining - dish in the UK since the 1850s at least. Around here, while people know the word is a slur, they also know it is a food, so "I don't fancy faggots" will be taken differently depending on the context of the conversation. If you were to say that, however, there would only be the one valid way to take it, because faggots are not a food in your culture. Also, note that when a British company made an advert in which the dual meaning of "I don't fancy faggots" was the point, that ad was banned for tastelessness. Because the whole joke was "lol! this food is also a word used to hate people!"

    Let me ask you this, can you honestly say that no part of the appeal you felt in this swastika-themed t-shirt design of yours was from the shock value? And do you really think that it's that important that the people - both those still living and those descended from them - who were actually effected by the Nazis should stand aside and let the cultural baggage of the swastika be washed away for the sake of you making a t-shirt?
    Last edited by BunnyMaz; 04-28-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by dclary View Post
    Your argument here is that if I were a european minority (jew, gypsy, etc) and turned the legs on the swastika backward, it would be ok, but no one else could do that?

    Sorry, I'm a little too anti-semantical to believe that.
    When comparing "nigger" to "niggah," there's no difference when it comes out of a non-black person's mouth. It's hard to explain, but having grown up with the words my entire life, and having consciously rejected the decision to use them, there's more to it than just the pronunciation among black people. And, as I said, the majority still reject the notion of "reclamation."

    So, yeah, if a bunch of Jews decide that they want to reclaim the swastika and warp it around to put the memory of Hitler behind in 100 or so years, I won't care. It's not my business. But I'm not going to tell them that WWII was a long time ago, and besides, it's not intended to be offensive, so I'm going to use it now and warp it around for my t-shirt, despite the message it sends.

    What gays do with fag, queer, dyke; what Asians do with chink and oriental; and what Mexicans do with wet back and beaner is up to them. But to gallivant along and reclaim it for them, or warp and reclaim them, is insensitive at best.

    And this has nothing to do with religious/spiritual use of the swastika, fyi. But I'd assume that native americans wouldn't wear the swastika like the Nazi's, and would be more sensitive with how they wore or used it in public.

  15. #65
    practical experience, FTW rwam's Avatar
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    Not to speak for dclary, but I think the reason he asked the question in the first place is because he (or someone really close to him) probably never experienced the pain, fear, and hopelessness that the stolen-symbol evoked. And that's certainly not a crime. While I'm fairly certain an unknown percentage of the population would look at the t-shirt and snicker, I think everyone's done a good job explaining why it would be so offensive to a lot of people and how it could incite ill-will towards the person wearing the shirt.

    I feel sorry for the people of today who may feel shame for using the symbol in its original form, context, and spirit. Hitler stole something from them...I wish they could steal it back.

  16. #66
    That cheeky buggerer Maxinquaye's Avatar
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    Well, it's kind of like bloodfiend says. Do Indians on the Indian subcontinent that see the swastika on their monuments think "oh that's a piece of nasty nazi thing, we got to get rid of it." Chances are they don't even think on it because like for Americans, the World War II is far away both geographically and in time.

    But to us Europeans? All we have to do is look at our 80+ year olds who lived through it. We hear their stories when we grow up in their laps, they talk about things and people and homes and whole regions that were lost. My grandmother fled on a fishing boat to England and ended up working for the exile fleet. You bet I've heard stories about it, sitting in her lap growing up. My parents grow up in the shadow of the reconstruction, and it marked them in direct and indirect ways.

    You bet that the swastika is offensive to many of us. That's because it was the chosen symbol of an evil that hurt people that we knew and loved, and that wrecked the whole continent that the people we knew and loved grew up in.
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  17. #67
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarashay View Post
    How about we just come up with a better way of indicating that someone is persnickety about grammar without invoking one of the most horrific wars in the history of humanity?
    Jack-booted grammar thug.
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
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  18. #68
    we are the words 'i love you' kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archerbird View Post
    But in short, because what the symbol currently represents has done far more harm than what it used to represent has done good. I don't care what it used to represent, symbols change, and for now it's broken.
    So, say, if some people desecrated the cross by killing and torturing millions of people under the sign of the crucifix, you'd consider it broken and say that Christians shouldn't be allowed to use it anymore because of how much evil has been done under it?
    (a blog.) ...last updated 15 June 2015

  19. #69
    Absinthe O'Malice TerzaRima's Avatar
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    God, do all of you antfuck topics like this offline? Some of your spouses/roommates must be ready to fake their own deaths.

    So, say, if some people desecrated the cross by killing and torturing millions of people under the sign of the crucifix, you'd consider it broken and say that Christians shouldn't be allowed to use it anymore because of how much evil has been done under it?
    Um, if we were posting about six or seven decades after the Spanish Inquisition...I guess so.

    dclary, using the swastika in this fashion is so not on. I say this as someone who is very, very hard to offend. I'd pick a new idea and move on.
    Warren G. Harding looks like that eagle from the Muppets who does the news. AndIm just going to come out and say itI find that eagle very attractive.

  20. #70
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    So, say, if some people desecrated the cross by killing and torturing millions of people under the sign of the crucifix, you'd consider it broken and say that Christians shouldn't be allowed to use it anymore because of how much evil has been done under it?
    Those weren't people, Kuwi. They were heathens.
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
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  21. #71
    Leaving on the 2:19
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    The whole discussion of "reclaiming" the swastika for its original peaceful symbolism is a red herring in this context. Dclary isn't proposing to use it as a symbol of peace. He's proposing to use it in connection with people who are strict grammarians precisely because it represents Nazi brutality.

    And it's not only Europeans who see the swastika and shudder to this day. My father was one of the American troops who liberated Auschwitz and the sight of the swastika can still make his eyes well up.

  22. #72
    we are the words 'i love you' kuwisdelu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ketzel View Post
    The whole discussion of "reclaiming" the swastika for its original peaceful symbolism is a red herring in this context.
    You'll notice I wasn't responding to dclary, but to another poster's comments.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 15 June 2015

  23. #73
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
    You'll notice I wasn't responding to dclary...
    A highly effective strategy.
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
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  24. #74
    Who let this guy in...? JohnnyGottaKeyboard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerzaRima View Post
    God, do all of you antfuck topics like this offline? Some of your spouses/roommates must be ready to fake their own deaths.
    Oh no, I do all my antfucking online. Thereby sparing not only my spouse--who is not an ant--as well as any non-consenting ants in the neighborhood. Infact, if it weren't for the internet providing a safe space for my antfucking, I'd likely go on an antfuck rampage that wouldn't be pretty. BTW, the internet also provides me with an outlet for my other fetish: the beating of dead horses.

    ?

    If antfucking is not your thing, by all means continue exploring until you discover your personal fetish...I'm sure it's represented here somewhere. Perhaps in the condescension thread?

    Personally I felt the conversation resolved the initial question pretty quickly and decisively, but then evolved into an interesting discussion of symbols, words and their possible rehabilitation. But then I fuck ants.
    "C'mon o'er here, sweetums. Get down on your knees and--yeah, just shove them old magazines aside--get down there and lick my--no, them ain't nothing but cans I ain't yet took to the recycling. Here, how's about you put this blindfold on and stop with all the questions?"

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  25. #75
    That hairy-handed gent
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    Back to the thread title: "Sensitivity v. Parody":

    Nazis have been parodied many many times, the most famous probably being Mel Brooks' classic "The Producers", a big hit both in film and on stage. But the key word there is "parody". The instant you have to explain to somebody why you're wearing a t-shirt with a swastika on it is because you are "parodying" Nazis, you've lost the battle. Then it becomes "I was just joking, you know, ha ha ha . . ."

    Much like Ted Nugent now complaining that what he said about "being dead or in jail" if Obama gets re-elected really wasn't meant as a threat against Obama. Yeah, Ted. That works. You rock. Except not at the lucrative dead-rockers concert you were about to play for the U.S. Army at Ft. Knox, on account of your "joke".

    Anybody who wants to revive the swastika as a symbol of peace and harmony and good things needs to be willing to display one in a personal manner and then to explain to critics the peaceful, loving reason for doing that.

    caw

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