"Salacious but iffy?"

Monday, 6 July 2015 11:28 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

In the Washington Post recently, Michael Miller covered the life and death of James Jeffrey Bradstreet, a doctor with controversial ideas about causes and treatments of autism ("Anti-vaccine doctor behind ‘dangerous’ autism therapy found dead. Family cries foul.". 6/29/2015). The treatments Bradstreet favored included intravenous secretin, "intravenous immunogloblin" [sic],  chelation therapy, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and stem cell therapy.

Blythe H., who sent me the link, noticed a strange word choice in the article:

But as the National Enquirer coverage suggests, some of these treatments were salacious but scientifically iffy.

It's clear that salacious (glossed by M-W as "arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination; lecherous, lustful") doesn't belong here. It must be a malapropism or perhaps a cupertino for some more appropriate adjective. But which?

Bythe suggests salutary ("producing a beneficial effect; promoting health"), but I'm skeptical, since the article includes quotations from a medical school dean and the FDA to the effects that some of Bradstreet's preferred theraputic techniques are "dangerous and without any benefit" and "can lead to serious and life-threatening outcomes".

Along the same lines as her suggestion might be salubrious ("making good health possible or likely"), which is only three characters away from salacious, and might have been mistyped of misspelled in a way that would make it as close to salacious as to salubrious. And salacious is about four time more frequent than salubrious, making a cupertino more likely. But salubrious has the same problem as salutary: the treatments are said to be dangerous, not healthful.



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Posted by Rod White

Why did I miss diving into the Divergent series until now? It is totally my kind of thing: anxious twentysomethings/teens forced by the government and their colluding parents to choose an identity that doesn’t fit them. Watching Kate Winslet (symbolizing … Continue reading
[syndicated profile] experimentaltheology_feed

Posted by Richard Beck

As regular readers know, all of June Jana and I were on a speaking tour in the UK. So we missed quite a lot back home.

Not that I make it a habit as a blogger to weigh in on current events. But I did want to make an observation about White America's response to the tragedy of the Charleston shooting in contrast to our response to other instances of White-on-Black violence. From Michael Brown in Ferguson to Eric Garner in Staten Island.

As we all know, the response of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the wake of the shooting, especially that of the family members of the victims, has been inspiring and heroic. The lines between good and evil were so clearly drawn in Charleston that the national response to the tragedy was practically unanimous in expressing outrage and sympathy. As President Obama noted in his eulogy, the killer had unwittingly united rather than divided the nation.

And yet, if I might step into troubled waters, I want to suggest that there is a problem with the national response to Charleston, how the almost universal sympathy expressed for Charleston demonstrates a racial bias at work.

Specifically, why was the response to Charleston so different from, say, our response to Ferguson? Charleston united Black and White America. Ferguson divided us.


I've already alluded to the answer. In Charleston the lines between good and evil were clearly drawn. The killer, motivated by racial animus, entered a church where he was warmly received by a Bible study group. An hour into the study the killer began to shoot the people who had lovingly welcomed him. It was a clear cut case of Good vs. Evil.

Contrast that with Ferguson. Ferguson presented itself as a moral Rorschach blot to White and Black America. White America saw the events in Ferguson one way and Black America saw it another way. The lines between Good and Bad were murkier and, thus, open to interpretation.

Which brings me back to the racial bias that was at work in our collective response in Charleston. Specifically, to make the point plainly, universal sympathy from White America was only forthcoming when the moral narrative regarding Black virtue and innocence was clear and indisputable.

And that, let me suggest, is a problem.

The heroic, Christian witness of courage and grace displayed by Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is awe-inspiring. They are saints and martyrs for the ages.

But we have to ask, is that the moral bar Black America has to clear in every instance to receive unanimous sympathy from White America?

Because that bar will very rarely be cleared. I can't clear it. Saints like those at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church are very rare. And so is the evil the like of Dylann Roof.

So the moral contrast that was displayed in Charleston is hardly going to be typical. What we have in America day to day are ambiguous mixtures of right and wrong, moral narratives that are open to interpretation.  Who was more to blame, for example, Michael Brown or Darren Wilson? Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman?

These more ambiguous situations are the ones that divide America. And why is that? Because these events are open to interpretation. And because they are open to interpretation--moral Rorschach blots--they are the situations that most reveal our biases and prejudices.

The problem with our response to Charleston is that we can't expect Black America to display that level of virtue in every violent encounter. But for the grace of God it is an almost impossible, heroic standard. What we will have, instead, are events that are morally mixed, with the lines between Good and Bad blurry and ambiguous. Events open to your interpretation and, thus, open to your bias.

The power of the American Civil Rights movement was that it was able, through direct, non-violent action, to create high-contrast moral dramas like what we witnessed in Charleston. On the one side, at a clear and obvious location of discrimination, like a segregated lunch counter, we had peaceable Blacks and on the other side violent Whites. Non-violence at a location of obvious discrimination made the moral narrative crisp and clear. No ambiguity. No room for interpretation. The case for justice was unavoidable and compelling. And because of this Jim Crow segregation laws were swiftly, within a decade, dismantled.

But things have stalled since the 60s. Why has that been? I think it's been because overt and clear cut examples of racial prejudice and discrimination are harder to point to. Segregated lunch counters, bathrooms and bus seating were unambiguous locations of discrimination. You could literally point to a "Whites Only" sign on the wall. And that made the moral narrative clear and compelling.

Things are different now as Martin Luther King Jr. realized post-1965 when he began to focus on the issue of poverty. Why is there poverty? Is it due to personal moral failures like conservatives tend to believe? Or systemic injustices as liberals believe? Poverty is a complex Rorschach blot which is why it's so hard to focus the collective sympathy and will of America to address the problem.

I think the contrast between our responses to Charleston and Ferguson shows that we have a similar problem with race relations. Improvement in race relations in America cannot happen if we regularly demand in every instance that Black America meet the moral standards of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Black heroism can't be the asking price for White sympathy.

What is needed is for White America to exercise sympathy when the situations are morally ambiguous. This does not mean that we jettison our critical faculties. It is, rather, the honest admission that when the situation is most ambiguous my racial biases and prejudices are most at work. Let me state that again clearly: The more ambiguous the situation the more biased and prejudiced I will be.

What is needed, then, is what liberation theologians call a "preferential option." This isn't liberal guilt but a disciplining of our affections in order to counter deeply rooted biases and prejudices. When the situation is most ambiguous we should be our most vigilant and most willing to grant the benefit of the doubt.

Black America shouldn't have to wait for a Charleston to receive White compassion and sympathy.

Sympathy in the face of moral ambiguity is what has been lacking in White America. We can muster sympathy in response to Charleston. That is a relatively easy effort given the grace and heroism of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

But sympathy for Charleston won't crack the impasse we are facing in America where the injustices at work amongst us are more subtle, complex and ambiguous.
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Posted by Libby Anne

I recently came upon a post by Marshall Segal on John Piper’s blog. It began:

Dating is dead.

So says the media. Girls, stop expecting guys to make any formal attempt at winning your affections. Don’t sit around waiting for a boy to make you a priority, communicate his intentions, or even call you on the phone. Exclusivity and intentionality are ancient rituals, things of the past, and misplaced hopes.

I beg to differ. It’s not that this new line of thinking is necessarily untrue today, or that it’s not the current and corrupt trend of our culture. It’s wrong. One of our most precious pursuits, that of a life-long partner for all of life, is tragically being relegated to tweets, texts, and Facebook pokes, to ambiguous flirtation and fooling around. It’s wrong.

I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend recently. Like me, my friend is coming out of evangelical homeschool purity culture. She’s in college now and has recently gained her first boyfriend. Anyway, we were talking about dating and about her efforts to figure out how to go about it, the conventions of it and so forth, when I told her this:

Another thing is that I think our generation is moving away from formal dating and toward just sort of falling into it. That’s how it seemed to work when I was an undergrad at least. Two people share a friend group, spend time together, text or message, eat together on campus (in a non-dating way), and eventually one of them says “hey, maybe we should try being ‘together’?”

I do not promise to be an expert on modern dating mores in any way shape or form, but Segal is correct that there has been talk in the media about the death of dating, and I think there’s something to that—though I disagree with Segal’s conclusion.

Sean and I met as undergrads. We found ourselves part of the same friend group, and over time we got to know each other. We hung out, generally in a group setting, and really hit it off. We started hanging out just the two of us, getting breakfast together or studying together in the residence hall lounge. We also instant messaged each other, a lot. We really enjoyed each other’s company! There was definite chemistry, but we were too clueless or too socially inept to see it and make a move. Eventually, some of our friends stepped in and played matchmaker, but they really didn’t have to do much.

Then our relationship fell into courtship hell for six months until I resuscitated it by pulling the plug on my parents’ attempts to smother me, but that’s another story and has everything to do with the patriarchal evangelical homeschool world of my youth and nothing at all to do with the modern dating scene.

Anyway, I saw this same basic pattern repeated over and over again with my college friends. The line between being friends and dating was blurry, and friendship often fed naturally into being a couple. I don’t think I ever heard a friend or acquaintance say someone had “asked them out.” The whole fancy date thing you see in movies or TV shows? Yeah, that didn’t happen either. It was so much less formal and so much more comfortable than everything I’d been given to expect.

Curious, I did some googling and found this by Christian college president Dan Boone:

My role on university campuses for the past 30 years has given me a front row seat for the movie titled Dating. Relationships between college students have become so nebulous that the defining question on campus is, “Is this a date?”

I owe my understanding of the cultural shift in dating to Dr. Scott Stanley. He visited Trevecca Nazarene University in the fall of 2014 and lectured on the topic “Sliding vs. Deciding.” Dr. Stanley is a research psychologist and professor at the University of Denver and is a recognized specialist on cohabitation (living together without being married). His assumption is that dating builds the necessary foundation skills for commitment in marriage and that the demise of dating has left us sliding into relationships rather than deciding about relationships.

Okay, not only is what both Segal and Boone are saying bullshit, I’m also actually surprised they’re saying this as Christians. Perhaps this is because I grew up in a home and a community influenced by Joshua Harris, who taught that young people should get to know each other in group settings before pairing off. Perhaps this is because I have lived through exactly the kind of dating Segal and Boone are describing and think it head and shoulders above their beloved fancy-date ask-the-girl-out ideal. Just. So. Much. Bullshit.

Boone adds this later in his article:

Now, breakup is hard because there was no commitment to break up from. Since you hang out with the same friends, does one of you leave the island? Do you unfriend the other person or berate them on Facebook? Do you stalk what the other is doing on social media? Is there even anything to return that symbolically says this is over?

Um. Not really.

Okay, funny story! Sean was dating another girl, whom we’ll call Katie, when I first got to know him. We were all a part of the same friend group, remember. Anyway, he broke up with her a couple months later and they both stayed in the friend group without a problem. A couple of months after this, Sean and I started dating. I initially held a grudge against Katie because I’d been raised to think people give away a piece of their heart to every person they date, leaving them less whole. As I gradually began to realize this was bullshit, my feelings of anger toward Katie disappeared. And guess who I went ring shopping with when Sean and I were talking about getting engaged? Katie. Yes, you read that right.

In fact, both Sean and I still talk to Katie regularly. Katie invited us to her own wedding a couple of years ago (she married another guy in our friend group), and none of us saw any of it as awkward at all.

Yes, breakups can be hard. Yes, breakups are sometimes extremely messy. But you know what? Sometimes breakups are really not a huge deal. It happens. People move on. Such is life.

And perhaps that is why Segal and Boone are displeased with this new form of dating—perhaps my casual attitude toward breakups would shock them and make them see me as flippant toward divorce. I can’t get on board with this, because I actually think this new way of dating makes for stronger relationships than the more formal procedure of the past. (I’m also not completely sure this is as new as Segal and Boone think it is, but we’ll let that slide because I’m feeling nice.)

I married Sean because he and I had formed a strong partnership and camaraderie that I didn’t want to lose. So far two other couples who met through our friend group have also married, and for much the same reason—they sort of clicked and worked together well as a couple. The problem with more formal dating is that you feel the need to be on your best behavior, to put up a front and a mask. We didn’t feel that pressure, because we were just friends. We were already people we let our hair down around, even before we started dating each other. We didn’t feel the need to put up a facade. We didn’t have to be fake.

And that, quite simply, is why I find Segal and Boone’s concerns so laughable.

thoughts on the remix

Monday, 6 July 2015 08:14 am
deird1: Giles studying (Giles studying)
[personal profile] deird1
For this year's remix, I got [livejournal.com profile] aadler. Which makes my job easier - lots of good fic to choose from - but also harder - because it's so well written that I don't really like to change anything.

As it was, I've remixed for [livejournal.com profile] aadler before, three years ago, so I limited myself to his more recent fic.

fic spoilers ahead )

One To Go (the Junior Watcher remix) - fic

Monday, 6 July 2015 08:08 am
deird1: Dawn looking at Spike, with text "badder than you" (Dawn badder than you)
[personal profile] deird1
Title: One To Go (the Junior Watcher remix)
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3490

Original Story: Into The Abyss, by [livejournal.com profile] aadler

Summary: There are victims, and then there are victims. They aren't all the same kind.

fighting the good fight )

OTW Fannews: Fannish Psychology

Sunday, 5 July 2015 04:44 pm
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Posted by Claudia Rebaza


Banner by Alice of the side of a face with the title OTW Fannews: Fannish Psychology

  • An article at the Huffington Post explored the appeal of some canon relationships. "According to DeFife, this strong desire we feel for an onscreen couple to get together is rooted in a psychological phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik Effect. 'It was named after a psychologist who observed waiters in restaurants who would not write down their orders for a table...She found that they had memory for the order only as long as it wasn't filled, and then once it was filled that memory for the order went away.' The phenomenon now refers to the notion that an unsolved problem remains cognitively alive. Unresolved romantic chemistry in TV shows and books, DeFife says, falls neatly into this category.
  • An interview in The Independent with author Lucy Saxon revealed her health's role in fanfic. "It was thought likely that glandular fever had triggered the CFS, and doctors initially thought it would clear within a year. But as time went on it became apparent this was a condition that would be with Saxon for life...she recalled how much she had enjoyed creative writing at primary school...'I had been reading a lot of Harry Potter fan fiction, I was off school a lot, and had a lot of time on my hands...I wrote fan fiction for a good two years and alongside that I started to write original stuff.'"
  • A Boing Boing post linked to I Ship It, a short film by Yulin Kuang. The work "follows a young singer named Zoe Smallman (Mary Kate Wiles of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries fame) who recovers from a breakup by turning to Harry Potter-themed 'Wizard Rock.' It’s a charming story that shows off Kuang’s visual flare, which is clearly influenced by the likes of Wes Anderson and Edgar Wright but still feels unique. And Kuang's interest in online spaces—both as a distribution platform and as subject matter—could very well place her at the forefront of an upcoming trend in filmaking."
  • An interview in Concordiensis with the writer of a fanfic inspired play asked about the motivation for the plot. "The play starts off with Eddie who, after a run in with an ultra fan, Catherine (who is also a prolific fanfiction writer) is inspired by her slash fanfiction of The Gargoyle and the Sparrow, to try to become famous again. In an effort to reclaim his fame, Eddie seeks out Frank and convinces him to pretend to be married and basically reenact Catherine’s fanfiction to cater to their fan base." The playwright explained "[F]rom Catherine’s angle, I related to her because we are both amateur writers. Plus, identity politics has always fascinated me. Like how people love categorizing you, and how that kind of clashes with how you identify yourself. And I thought superheroes served as a great gateway to that theme because they are able to hide themselves behind a fake persona that is always under the scrutiny of the public, making it easy for them to escape their true identities."

What meta and articles have you seen exploring fannish identities and psychology? Write about those events in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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Posted by Roger E. Olson

Stretching the Evangelical Tent Right and Not Left I’ve long advocated a “big tent” view of “evangelical Christianity”—here and in my published writings. My tendency has long been to accept as authentically evangelical any Christian who claims to be evangelical and who fits the basic profile generally accepted by evangelical historians of the movement: George [Read More...]

Way more ways

Sunday, 5 July 2015 11:32 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Patricia Cohen and Ron Lieber, "It's summer, but Where Are the Teen Workers?", NYT 7/3/2015:

Ice cream still needs scooping, beaches still need guarding and campers still need counseling. But now, there are way fewer teenagers doing it all this summer.

This passage surprised me — but not because of the content, which seems consistent with my own experience. What surprised me was the fact that a relatively formal piece of writing used way as a scalar intensifier, a construction that I associate with informal or conversational registers.

I shouldn't have been surprised, since a quick search shows that the NYT has printed "way fewer" (outside of quotations) several times before:

Geoff MacDonald, "For Djokovic and Nadal, It's a Chess Match",  6/9/2012: Nadal hits way fewer forehand winners when pulled wide than when he gets to run around his backhand and use his favorite winner, the inside-out forehand.

Robert Wright, "Is Julian Assange Helping the Neocons?",  12/7/2010: This would mean killing fewer terrorists in the short run, but it would probably mean creating way fewer of them in the long run.

And similarly with "way more":

Seth Kugel, "A $50 Day in Knoxville, Tennessee", 7/2/2015: In front of a crowd of about 40, the first act was a guitarist named Ross Adams, who played country-ish ballads; the rocking Blackfoot Gypsies, who had way more energy than the crowd, followed.

And also "way bigger" and "way larger":

Mark Oppenheimer, "Examining the Growth of the 'Spiritual but Not Religious'", 7/18/2014:  It was 7 percent of all Americans, a bigger group than atheists, and way bigger than Jews, Muslims or Episcopalians.

Zachary Wolfe, "Melodramatic Sounds of Young Love", 5/25/2011: Dispensing with the typical operatic kings and gods, they featured recognizably ordinary characters experiencing way-larger-than-life emotions.

The OED connects this intensifier way to away in the sense "At or to a (great) distance, far". The literal version can be found with prepositions

1849 W. S. Mayo Kaloolah v. 44 You see it was way towards Tupper's Lake.
1888 E. Custer Tenting on Plains (1893) viii. 151 He sat 'way under the mantel, to let the tobacco-smoke go up the chimney.
1891 Anthony's Photogr. Bull. 4 29, I would have sold at a very low price, way below cost.

as well as with adverbs:

1850   L. H. Garrard Wah-to-Yah xvii. 222   Calyforny! way over yonder!
1851   E. S. Wortley Trav. in U.S. I. xxiii. 262   The trading and wealthy cities of far off Alabama and Louisiana, ‘way down south’.
1854   Seba Smith (title)    Way down East.
1866   Atlantic Monthly May 640   Nor these ain't metters thet with pol'tics swings, But goes 'way down amongst the roots o' things.

You can see from these examples that the usage is U.S.-associated and generally conversational or informal.

The literal spatial meaning leads to a figurative extension glossed as "much, far", which is not attested until the mid-20th century, according to the OED's citations.

1941 L. I. Wilder Little Town on Prairie v. 34 ‘I wonder how much it costs,’ said Ma. ‘'Way too much for ordinary folks,’ said Pa.
1957 New Yorker 2 Nov. 105/2 Go by plane, train or ship. Arrive way sooner—relaxed!
1977 Rolling Stone 24 Mar. He was a country & western singer and he drank way too much.

Though I felt sure that it existed earlier, I was surprised not to find any examples in Mark Twain's writings, at least via the obvious searches. I was able to antedate the 1941 citation with a few Google Books results, e.g. this passage from the transcripts of Senate hearings published in 1920 (and please ignore the fact that Google Books thinks this work forms part of The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy …):

But the testimony from the Google Books ngram viewer agrees with the OED that the general scalar-intensifier extension of way didn't start getting printed (much) until the middle of the 20th century, and didn't really take off in print until 1980 or so:

Given this trajectory, it's odd that there's been no anti-way revulsion by usage mavens — or have I missed it?

Update — I did miss at least one reaction, as Don points out in the comments. Paul Brians notes that

Young people frequently use phrases like “way better” to mean “far better” or “very much better.” In formal writing, it would be gauche to say that Impressionism is “way more popular” than Cubism instead of “much more popular.”

In fact I agree with Prof. Brians' reaction — this post started with my surprise at seeing "way fewer" in a New York Times article. However, the NYT usage is one of many pieces of evidence that the "young people" are winning this one, as they usually do.




Sunday WTF?

Sunday, 5 July 2015 10:41 am
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

Ezra 9:1-3

After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.”

When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The Lesbian Duplex 23: An Open Thread

Sunday, 5 July 2015 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] lovejoyfeminism_feed

Posted by Libby Anne

It’s time for another Lesbian Duplex thread! If you have a link or article or interesting thought that’s not relevant to an ongoing thread, you can share it here. If a conversation on another post has turned entirely off topic, you can bring it here also. Every so often, as the number of comments on a given Lesbian Duplex post becomes unmanageable, I put up a fresh post. I’ve added a “chatter” tab under my blog banner that will direct readers to these discussion threads, so no one will have to worry about digging for one. In any case, my comment policy lays out the house rules.


In case you’re unfamiliar with the backstory of this feature, the lesbian duplex has become a running joke on this blog since two of my posts on Debi’s book, Created To Be His Help Meet. For the backstory, you can take a look at these posts—Simper, Smile, and Giggle and Single Moms Turned Lesbian. The name suits these threads, because if Debi were right, we would all be lesbians living in duplexes!

Outsiders and hard drives

Saturday, 4 July 2015 08:17 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

It's a bit of a mystery how and why "outsiders" (wàidìrén 外地人) are referred to by Shanghainese as "hard disks / drives" (yìngpán 硬盘).

Intrigued, I asked around, and here are some of the replies I received.

The term YP (yìngpán 硬盘) was common on the Kuāndài shān 宽带山 (KDS) bulletin boards back in the day. The explanation I'd always heard was that they, like hard drives, were merely installed here rather than being of here. Couldn't say if that's the actual origin or just a later folk etymology.

This comes from a native of Shanghai:

…the term "hard disk" in Chinese that is used by native Shanghainese in reference to "outsiders": the term is 硬盘 (lit., "hard plate / tray", but here in reference to computer disk). The exact pronunciation of this term in Shanghainese is ngang-boe (oe as it is pronounced in French) — I'm a native of Shanghai. By the way, the traditional term in reference to someone who is ignorantly stupid is "foreign tray / dish" (洋盘, pronounced yang-boe).

He was commenting on this paragraph from an article in Caixin:

A few days ago, a friend of ours in Shanghai told us about a new label that young Internet users in the large eastern city are using to refer to people who move to town from other parts of the country. The label is "hard disk." It is a play on the ordinary term for people who move to town from other parts of China – "wai di ren" – and the initials of the hard disk company Western Digital.

It would appear from this that the notion of wàidìrén 外地人 ("outsider") is now doubly connected with "hard disk" in Shanghai parlance, once through the sound of 硬盘 itself and once through the initials of Western Digital, one of the world's largest manufaturers of hard disk drives.

As to how and why this game of cat and mouse all played out on the internet, in other words, why was there a necessity for such arcane ways of referring to outsiders in Shanghainese, Kaiser Kuo posted a question about this on Quora and got a great answer:

There is a famous forum in Shanghai named KDS (宽带山 [Broadband Mountain]), and there Shanghainese used the word 外地人 ("outsider") to talk about their discontent with them, whereupon that word was blocked.

Shanghainese turned to use WDR (the initials of the pinyin of 外地人), it was then blocked.

Then Shanghainese divided W into VV, so the new word became VVDR, and it was blocked.

YDR (Y = 外) replaced the VV by Shanghainese and it was blocked.

Then Shanghainese began to use 西部数据人 (Western Digital [a brand of hard disk] People=WDR), and it was blocked.

Finally, they find a good word 硬盘 (YP), which derives its meaning from Western Digital people. And since KDS is a forum talking about PC, if the word 硬盘 is blocked, the forum is a dead one, so the word 硬盘 was not blocked.

This account reverses the sequence from the initial use of yìngpán 硬盘 ("hard disk") and later adoption of W(estern) D(igital) as a euphemism or code word for wàidìrén 外地人 ("outsider") proposed by my Shanghai informant to its opposite:  the initial use of W(estern) D(igital) and the subsequent substitution by yìngpán 硬盘 ("hard disk").  No matter which came first, it's no secret that Shanghnese natives are not fond of the hordes of outsiders who flood their city every day.  (They always tell me when we're walking down Nanjing Road or other major thoroughfare that by far the majority of people we can see on the street are not from Shanghai.)  On the other hand, I hear the same kinds of complaints about wàidìrén 外地人 ("outsiders") from Beijingers and Hong Kongers.

[Thanks to D. Pan, Kellen Parker, and Brendan O'Kane]

Fourth of July fireworks

Saturday, 4 July 2015 06:47 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

I’m going to stop posting this excerpt from Frederick Douglass’ 1852 Independence Day speech eventually, just as soon as it no longer seems as timely and urgent as today’s newspaper.

The church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines. who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.

For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! welcome atheism! welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by those Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny, and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke, put together, have done! These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action, nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty, and leave the throng of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man. All this we affirm to be true of the popular church, and the popular worship of our land and nation — a religion, a church, and a worship which, on the authority of inspired wisdom, we pronounce to be an abomination in the sight of God. In the language of Isaiah, the American church might be well addressed, “Bring no more vain ablations; incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth. They are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them; and when ye spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from you. Yea! when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. YOUR HANDS ARE FULL OF BLOOD; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed; judge for the fatherless; plead for the widow.”

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in connection with its ability to abolish slavery. The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. Albert Barnes but uttered what the common sense of every man at all observant of the actual state of the case will receive as truth, when he declared that “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.”

Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday school, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds; and that they do not do this involves them in the most awful responsibility of which the mind can conceive.

In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; but how, we ask, could such a thing be done? We are met on the threshold of our efforts for the redemption of the slave, by the church and ministry of the country, in battle arrayed against us; and we are compelled to fight or flee. From whatquarter, I beg to know, has proceeded a fire so deadly upon our ranks, during the last two years, as from the Northern pulpit? As the champions of oppressors, the chosen men of American theology have appeared — men, honored for their so-called piety, and their real learning. The Lords of Buffalo, the Springs of New York, the Lathrops of Auburn, the Coxes and Spencers of Brooklyn, the Gannets and Sharps of Boston, the Deweys of Washington, and other great religious lights of the land have, in utter denial of the authority of Him by whom they professed to be called to the ministry, deliberately taught us, against the example or the Hebrews and against the remonstrance of the Apostles, they teach that we ought to obey man’s law before the law of God.

My spirit wearies of such blasphemy; and how such men can be supported, as the “standing types and representatives of Jesus Christ,” is a mystery which I leave others to penetrate.


(no subject)

Saturday, 4 July 2015 07:28 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Since acquiring American in-laws (and, for that matter, an American husband, though it hardly ever shows), I find myself taking note of the Fourth of July.

In recognition of the day, here is a great American song by a great American (also, I like the way you can also read it as being about salvation and the life of the world to come).

Saturday Links: Leaps and Bounds Edition

Saturday, 4 July 2015 04:05 pm
[syndicated profile] rookie_feed

Posted by Chanel


Misty Copeland photographed by Gene Schiavone, via Business Insider.

Misty Copeland photographed by Gene Schiavone, via Business Insider.

The ballerina Misty Copeland has become the American Ballet Theater’s first black female principal dancer. Seems like that should’ve happened a while ago, right? Especially when the ABT has a 75-year-long history.

Anyway, Copeland, who was formerly a soloist in the company, will basically represent the very little diversity that currently stands in the ballet world—of which she’s fully aware. In a press conference, the dancer said “I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level,” which is something that’s encouraged her to work harder.

I’m super excited for Copeland, since she already rocks it on a daily basis. Recently she’s been on the cover of TIME magazine, featured in a super-viral commercial, and she’s been an influential woman for young girls everywhere. I can’t wait to see her thrive and survive as ABT’s top dog!

Photo of Clemantine Wamariya by Andrew White/Anna Vignet, via Medium.

Photo of Clemantine Wamariya by Andrew White/Anna Vignet, via Medium.

I couldn’t stop reading Clemantine Wamariya’s essay about her childhood escape from the Rwandan genocide and the challenges of her American adolescence. What really struck me was her ambivalence about the cost of survival, and the unvarnished way she describes the suffering—and generosity—she encountered along the way.

Photo of Nicholas Winton with a child, via the New York Times.

Photo of Nicholas Winton with a child, via the New York Times.

On a related note, Nicholas Winton died this week. Winton was responsible for saving hundreds of children who would have otherwise died in the Holocaust. His deeds went unacknowledged for decades until his wife discovered papers detailing the money and logistics he had organized in order to remove the children from danger. At the end of his life, he was reunited with some of the people he saved, and got to hear about the lives they’ve been able to live because of him. Both Winton and Clemantine’s stories blow me away with their examples of courage, resilience, and stubborn hope in the face of so much ugliness.

Photo by Officer Lorenzo Steele Jr., via New York Magazine.

Photo by Officer Lorenzo Steele Jr., via New York Magazine.

Rikers Island Correctional Facility has garnered increasing amounts of attention lately, especially since Kalief Browder went public with the story of the abuses he endured there. This oral history of Rikers Island in New York Magazine is comprised of first-person accounts from people currently and formerly imprisoned at Rikers, correctional officers, librarians, teachers, and relatives of people imprisoned there.

The cover of Grace Jones' forthcoming memoir courtesy of Simon and Schuster, via the Hollywood Reporter.

The cover of Grace Jones’ forthcoming memoir courtesy of Simon and Schuster, via the Hollywood Reporter.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Grace Jones’ will publish her memoirs on September 29, and the cover will feature this exceedingly cheeky and beautiful picture of Ms. Jones. According to the announcement, Jones has explained the book’s title, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, “I wrote a song called “Art Groupie.” [The f]irst line said ‘I’ll never write my memoirs’—that was a long time ago. Since then, I thought, if I don’t do it, somebody else will.” I’m all about women writing their own accounts of their lives and my body is 100 percent ready for this book.

Tomorrow is the final of the Women’s World Cup, with reigning champions Japan taking on two-time winners U.S.A. in Vancouver. The U.S. team is the big favorite, after defeating Germany, the number-one-ranked team in the world in the semi-finals. There’s been a lot of terrific writing throughout the tournament, including plenty from Sports Illustrated‘s Upfront/Onside series, which critically analyzed the tournament from a variety of sporting, cultural, and political angles.

A highlight was Shireen Ahmed and Laurent Dubois’ article about the French player Jessica Houara and the cultural significance of the hijab in France. Ahead of the final, Caitlin Murray argues that the womens’ tournament is still treated as inferior to the men’s World Cup (with reduced prize money to match). Also at the Guardian, Louise Taylor names her top five players from the tournament. Maybe the funniest video about the competition was this spoof of the preconceptions about women’s soccer by the admirably straight faced Norwegian team, which you can watch above.

Claire Denis photographed by Ruth Ehrmann, via Film Museum.

Claire Denis photographed by Ruth Ehrmann, via Film Museum.

Claire Denis is co-writing a film with the novelist Zadie Smith and poet Nick Laird. The film, which will be set in space, will be Denis’ first English-language movie. I’ve been a Claire Denis stan ever since watching 35 Shots of Rum, a beautiful coming of age film starring Mati Diop and Alex Descas. Is it gross to add that my eyes are itching to see what becomes of this collaboration? They are.

Junglepussy photographed by Jeaneen Lund, via Bust magazine.

Junglepussy photographed by Jeaneen Lund, via Bust magazine.

In this interview with Bust magazine, Shayna McHale aka Jungepussy talks about self-love, Twitter, working with women to create her music videos and photo shoots, and her black power and feminist-inspired politics. Best read while listening to her 2014 album Satisfaction Guaranteed.

I spent the better of this week swooning over “Sparks,” the new song by Beach House from their upcoming LP Depression Cherry. It’s a dazed, candy-coated jam that feels like warm melted butter. Victoria Legrand’s vocals sound even more faraway than on previous songs, lending the feeling of a memory that you’re trying to recall. Pure bliss.

Because I have the sense of humor of a five-year-old person, I giggled for a full half hour over this video of Paul Rudd pretending to fart his way through an interview. Ah, leather chairs! Fart jokes will never not be hilarious to me, and the interviewer seemed like a good sport about it, too, devolving into fits of laughter. How is it that Paul Rudd is charming even when he’s making a fart face??? ♦

Being Patriotic on the Fourth of July

Saturday, 4 July 2015 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] lovejoyfeminism_feed

Posted by Libby Anne

I grew up in a home where we celebrated our nation’s founding and past in an overwhelmingly positive way. As I’ve grown my perspective has broadened and I’ve come to see social problems and worse as central to our nation’s past. There are atrocities, such as slavery and the way the United States has treated native populations. There are also other problems that may be less stark but are no less important, such as the lack of rights for women or bias against our nation’s immigrant populations. Even our more recent past is far from perfect, what with backlash against the civil rights movement and the continued deportation of individuals working to create a better life for their families.

My more nuanced understanding of our nation’s past and present has often left me unclear about where I stand on holidays like today. In many ways patriotism has become a thing of the political Right, as conservatives wave flags and seek to rewrite our nation’s history while progressives and others on the political Left feel uncomfortable as they grapple with our nation’s often troubling past. But I worry about this positioning, because it aids conservatives as they claim to be true Americans while I and others like me are somehow less American.

What does patriotism mean, exactly? Is it love for one’s country? Admiration for one’s country? Devotion to one’s country? Does being patriotic require one to agree with all of the actions of one’s country? Or is it possible to be both patriotic and dissent from the action’s of one’s country? I think part of the problem is that those on the political Right have defined patriotism to mean not questioning one’s country or its past. This makes those on the political Left uncomfortable with the term patriotism altogether. But does it have to be defined that way?

Our history is not just a history of oppression or injustice. It is also a history of lively and spirited dissent. Men like Frederick Douglass, women Ida B. Wells—these people are part of our history too. Eugene V. Debs. Pearl Buck. Claudette Clovin. Mary Beth Tinker. These individuals were American too, even as they were discontent with the state of their national and fought to change it. Is there any greater act of love toward one’s country than working to improve it, believing that it can be better than it is—more inclusive, more fair, more just?

Rather than allowing conservatives to paint us as unpatriotic dissenters, let’s point out that dissenting is both patriotic and a central part of our national heritage. Let’s not let conservatives win the debate through defining its terms. On this Fourth of July, let’s celebrate the movers and shakers, the people who stepped out and put their lives on the line to make this country a better place. That battle continues today, through efforts to bring about immigration reform, through the movement surrounding Black Lives Matter, and through efforts to improve transgender rights. We, my friends, are part of a grand American tradition—and we are part of history.

How about you? Have you grappled with this holiday, or with the very idea of patriotism? How have you resolved these things for yourself? And importantly, what heroes of our history would you like to see honored today? And for those readers who live outside of the U.S., how does the idea of patriotism play out in your country? What national celebration’s does your country have, and how do you approach them? How do you grapple with your own nation’s history?

Friday Playlist: Drift Off

Saturday, 4 July 2015 03:00 am
[syndicated profile] rookie_feed

Posted by Lucy

Although I like to pretend I am a calm and collected adult, I do sometimes freak out over life and look for the things that comforted me as a child. This playlist is a collection of songs that remind me of the nursery rhymes and lullabies I learned as a kid. I turn to them whenever the world gets to be too much and I need to find the comfort that keeps me grounded.

Album and playlist illustration by Lucy.

Album and playlist illustration by Lucy.

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"This is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best."
-- St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians 1:9-10

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