at the risk of opening up a big ol' can of worms...
i wish today's entry made me feel that i made a difference in the way you think. but the turns of phrase you use in this entry only underline for me that you can't change in one day what appears to be something pretty deeply ingrained.

i can't throw stones - i catch myself saying and doing things that are inappropriate. but that's the difference here. i catch myself.

do i need to buy you a mitt?

--FoSO Sat Aug 27 07:07:18 2005
Also, Yiddish is a language, not an ethnicity.
--FoSO Sat Aug 27 07:08:23 2005

Some (I) would argue that there is also a Yiddish culture that has evolved form the language and the need to preserve it.
I speak of the many who would wish to preserve both, feeling the culture is in danger of disappearing.

--YELAS Sat Aug 27 08:21:40 2005
Kirk, do you have any gear aside from backpedal? Well since you don't, I might as well join up in beating up on you.

I am acutely offended by your use of the word WASP. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant is a derogatory term largely used by those who are not.  Your materialistic and misplaced criticism of WASP's as unwilling or unable to haggle shows that you have bought into the Hollywood produced stereotype. Thankfully, the culture did not originate or end with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer portrayal of it. 

As is typical for those detached from a community, you use a brush broad enough to grant yourself membership. You are not a WASP, as your roots are primarily in the revivalist, evangelical camp founded in 1865 with a continental blood line. WASP refers primarily to those of Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Episcopalian extraction, and for males usually connotes membership in the Masons. None of these apply to you. Your use of the adjective "goy" as descriptive of "WASP" again assumes a cultural heritage you do not have. "goy" is Hebrew for "nation" or "people of a nation". In the Yiddish, it was corrupted to be a derogatory term for non-Jew, as the Jews were "people without a nation". No one fitting the WASP decription would use the term "goy" as self-descriptive without risking censure. An outsider applying either term would find themselves persona non grata. 

There is a presumption of judgement in your words that no person steeped in any culture would entertain as anything but insulting. While your relatively unaligned status affords you the luxury of detached observation, don't presume that the mal-appropriation of culture specific language will be treated by others with the same detachment you extend.
----EB Sat Aug 27 13:39:38 2005
Through the lens of only television and books, my view is that haggling is not a uniquely Jewish trait, but rather it is a "everyone but white/christian culture" trait. I rarely see it anywhere in america, and haven't heard of it much in western europe, but it seems to be commonplace (expected, even) in south america, the middle east, and asia. To be honest, I wish I could it, I often walk away from a transaction feeling that I should have, and if I do try, I just end up embarrasing myself. Can anyone shed a bit of light on that, if its true, and maybe why its faux pas in some cultures?
--Eric Sat Aug 27 19:37:43 2005
And people wonder why we don't talk about race in this country.

It's because when we do, people go batshit on us. Especially if we're white, because anything we get wrong is seen as merely an extension of the oppression we've been doling out since we made Plymouth Rock land on Malcolm X.
--Nick B Sun Aug 28 03:04:56 2005
Nick B, kudos...applause...whistles... foot stomping and cheers.
--xoxoxo Bruce Sun Aug 28 11:42:51 2005
I agree that haggling is basically more oriental than occidental-- why or whether in fact the Jews also prefer this mode of commerce could be from their origins in the Orient and their comparatively closed culture even as they spread out. Just thinking out loud. And Nick's right.
--LAN3 Mon Aug 29 02:17:06 2005
woah, i'm not beating up on kirk because he's a white male, nor would i describe my remarks as 'going batshit'. kirk's simply too intelligent to be perpetuating stereotypes that are personally hurtful. eb, thanks for pointing out that kirk was being offensive to several cultures, not just mine. lan3, i am jewish and actually don't prefer to haggle. your blanket statement is ridiculous. and offensive.
--FoSO Mon Aug 29 03:42:33 2005
I'm not sure EB wa being 100% serious.

I do regret the "personally hurtful" aspect; it's also an interesting complement to the "societally hurtful" scale that more often gets talked about with this kind of remonstration.
--Kirk Mon Aug 29 07:32:01 2005
FoSO, if you find his remarks personally hurtfull and offensive, you have every right to say so.
BUT, when you (or anyone) claim(s) offense on behalf of entire cultures or groups that you don't personally know, that's going batshit.
--xoxoxo Bruce Mon Aug 29 16:13:10 2005

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