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Mad Dogs and Englishmen


demonstrators-defy-curfew-ferguson

“Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

~Rudyard Kipling, Gunga Din

With apologies to Kipling, the need to describe the word “mad” has come up as of late.

When I was a boy, my mother said something to me.  “People don’t get mad.  Dogs get mad.  People get angry.”  My mother is very well versed in the structure and word usage of English, and she is quite Victorian in her tastes, though from time to time when she does become quite angry, the Scottish in our family starts to come out.  But she’s got a very valid point regarding the word “mad”.

Mad is a word that has a connection to insanity.  And thanks to Kipling’s Gunga Din, the word can be equated to dogs.  Mad, or madness, equals insanity or rabid, as in what a dog goes through when inflicted with rabies.

And I’ve heard the word used in media outlets to describe the protestors in Ferguson and other areas of the States, if not in different parts of the world.  “Protestors are mad” some news reports say, and by doing so, they underline their own feelings about those who are protesting their for their rights to be recognized and for their lives to matter.  By equating those protestors with the word “mad”, media outlets are doing their best to have viewers who aren’t directly affected by the events in Ferguson to think of those protestors in one light.

Insane.  Inhuman.  Mad.  Dogs.

Darren Wilson, the officer who murdered teenager Mike Brown, has already helped dehumanize Brown by calling him “it” and describing him as demonic.  Which is a tradition used by those who ally themselves with extremist groups like the Klu Klux Klan.  They enjoy hearing the word “mad” to be used against the protestors, because the word itself dehumanizes them.  The mostly black protestors are, in their opinion, insane.  Inhuman.  No better than dogs.

The protestors are angry.  They’re frustrated.  And they’re furious.  But they aren’t mad.  Their reaction to the killing of Mike Brown, along with the killing of other black youth by police officers around the States (along with the assaults committed by the police against, essentially, children), is not something irrational.  It’s not something insane.  It is completely justifiable.  These are people fed up with the justice system that gives huge breaks to white people who break the law by murdering a black person (or other person of colour).  They are frustrated by a system that vilifies black teens who have been killed, who are victims of crime often committed by white men in authority, yet white criminals who kill numerous people in a shooting rampage are called quiet, an honourable student, and given the boy next door treatment.

The use of such words is coded language, make no mistake of that.  Calling the predominantly black protestors mad is not by accident.  It’s not even the “new” use of English.  It’s coded language to call them insane.  It’s coded language to dehumanize them, just as language has been used to dehumanize black and brown people for hundreds of years.

Of mad dogs and Englishmen indeed.

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Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Friday morning random times


FUCK

There’s something incredibly satisfying about saying that word.  It actually makes you feel good.  Anyway, here’s some fuckin’ random shit I’ve been thinking about.

Sochi Olympics

Russia is weird, I have decided.  Not due to any cultural aspect, but completely due to their politics.  It was announced that t.a.T.U, the early 2000’s pop duo from Russia that made a huge splash in the west, will be performing during the Sochi Olympics.

That’s fine, they’re Russian, and often it’s the case for the host country to showcase their talent at events like this.  The London Olympics had J. K. Rowling, Mary Poppins, and the Queen being parachuted into the stadium after being escorted by none other than James Bond.  At Vancouver in 2010, Donald Sutherland read a selection from W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen The Wind.  This before Joni Mitchel’s Both Sides Now was performed while Thomas Saulgrain performed the ballet on fly wire.

So it’s not unusual for t.a.T.U to perform.  What is unusual is that they represent (albeit, falsely) an extremely lesbian couple.  The duo had some pretty open lesbian lyrics.  Admittedly, they later admitted they were all for show, and that playing lesbians wasn’t fun anymore.

It seems more and more as though Sochi is becoming a black eye on the Olympics.

Ground Hog Day

I had completely forgotten about Ground Hog Day (the day, not the movie, which is hilarious).  Then again, I’d forgotten about the Super Bowl, too, until the last five minutes of the game.  It seems that most Ground Hogs (there are more than just the Pennsylvania ground hog and the one in Wiarton, Ontario) have predicted six more weeks of winter.  Winnipeg Willow, however, a ground hog in Manitoba, has predicted an early spring.  I think Winnipeg is just being optimistic.

Still, I don’t think I’ll take a contract out on the ground hogs this year.

Four Day Weekend

I’ve got a four day weekend.  I had time built up, so I decided to take it now, while we’ve got the time at work.  It’s not gonna be busy this week, and next week is pretty slow, so I took yesterday, and today off.  I got some writing in, some more in Ravenport, and started another story in the Heroic League Project called Long Live The Mannequin.  I am starting to realize that this superhero universe I’ve created is a lot of work.  Especially considering there’s over 40 years of stuff to write.  From the original five characters in the 1970s to the current crop in the 2010s.  At last count, the present day aspects of the story have 24 heroes.  That includes the original five even though some of them have officially retired.  Sometimes I just look at everything I’ve jotted down in notes and think “holy fuck, this is gonna take a while”.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Fun, Life, randomness

 

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Word Poll No. 4


Sort of a take on the aspect of words that I did a while back.  Here’s a series of polls to determine exactly how everyone says something.  In other words, when you see a picture of an object, what do you call it.  Every Friday, I’ll put up a poll.  Leave a comment as well if you’ve got other things that you would call the featured description.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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Word Poll No. 3


Sort of a take on the aspect of words that I did a while back.  Here’s a series of polls to determine exactly how everyone says something.  In other words, when you see a picture of an object, what do you call it.  Every Friday, I’ll put up a poll.  Leave a comment as well if you’ve got other things that you would call the featured description.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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Word Poll No. 2


Sort of a take on the aspect of words that I did a while back.  Here’s a series of polls to determine exactly how everyone says something.  In other words, when you see a picture of an object, what do you call it.  Every Friday, I’ll put up a poll.  Leave a comment as well if you’ve got other things that you would call the featured description.

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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Word Poll No. 1


Sort of a take on the aspect of words that I did a while back.  Here’s a series of polls to determine exactly how everyone says something.  In other words, when you see a picture of an object, what do you call it.  Every Friday, I’ll put up a poll.  Leave a comment as well if you’ve got other things that you would call the featured description.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Fun, randomness, Uncategorized

 

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There is one saying I just cannot stand to hear


I come up against this saying many times at work when I deal with our older subscribers and customers.  For a time, I used to just shrug my shoulders and think “yeah, I can see that”.

That saying is “I’m just an old man of (insert age here), I don’t know that fancy technology”.  That excuse, and I suspect excuse would be better than a saying, but that excuse is absolute garbage.  For me, that excuse became garbage when my father, my 70 year old father (saying how old he is out loud kinda scares me) bought a Fujitsu digital camera (better than mine, by the way) and a netbook, and then a three in one printer.  And then they got a Hi-Def digital TV.  I don’t even have a Hi-Def digital TV yet!

But saying “Oh, I’m just an old man” is crap!  I know people ten, fifteen, even twenty years older than me who are well versed in several computer languages.  Who have different electronic devices.  Who even play MMO’s, for crying out loud!

There are some that might say “but Arthur Black, who happens to be one of your favourite humourists, he says he’s too old”.  No no no.  I must correct you there.  Arthur Black has never once said he was too old for such devices.  He’s actually written about such devices and their affects on the world (and him).  He doesn’t use them because he’s too old.  He doesn’t use them because he’s a luddite.  There’s a difference.

We know the definition of “too old”.  Here’s the definition of luddite.  First, from Wikipedia:

Rage Against the Machine

The main Ludd himself! Ned Ludd. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Luddites were a social movement of 19th-century English textile artisans who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt were leaving them without work and changing their way of life. The movement was named after General Ned Ludd or King Ludd, a mythical figure who, like Robin Hood, was reputed to live in Sherwood Forest.

From dictionary.com:

Lud·dite

/ˈlʌdaɪt/ [luhd-ahyt] – noun

a member of any of various bands of workers in England (1811–16) organized to destroy manufacturing machinery, under the belief that its use diminished employment.

Origin:

1805-15; after Ned Ludd, 18th-century Leicestershire worker who originated the idea

That would be a much more acceptable thing to say than just “I’m just an old (person)”.  I just will not accept that.  Unless you are infirm, or feeble, there is no excuse to learn some new piece of technology.

That is, of course, you happen to be a luddite.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2012 in randomness, Rants

 

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