New Favorite Line: “The Pudding May Have Been Over-Egged”

In light of recent revelations that American Idol finalist David Cook currently has an album out, I thought I’d drudge this story out from the proverbial archives.

“Is the Britain’s Got Talent choirboy REALLY a bullied kid from a sink estate? His mother admits: ‘The pudding may have been over-egged'”

Forget the story, which is almost inconsequential at this point, the truly priceless tidbit is the mother’s quote regarding the embellishments within,

The pudding may be been over-egged

Is there anyone who does colloquialisms better than the Brits?

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Mexicans and their Nicknames

I saw a gallery (“Casting ‘Super Bowl: The Movie'”) over at SI.com today which reminded me of a perhaps little-known aspect of Mexican culture.

The premise of the gallery is to show how closely certain participants in this Sunday’s Super Bowl resemble certain actors, some of them are uncanny.

Nevertheless, us Mexicans have a propensity to label (verbally or mentally) people based on who/what they resemble. For example, if a friend even has a slightly longer face than most, automatically he’s glossed el caballo (the horse).

If another buddy has a slightly squat visage the name chato (the bulldog) naturally flows from our lips. And so on, the nicknames range from el gato (the cat) to the more exotic el puma, and of course el borrego (the ram), usually this fellow will have a nice head of thick curly hair.

For a good illustration check out this T-Mobile commercial.

We don’t even stop at animal-lookalikes we go all out. If a friend has even the slightest hint of Asian ancestry (the country is irrelevant), he is automatically el chino (the Chinese man).

These are terms of endearment, though perhaps those outside of the culture might see things differently. Viewing such nicknames as harsh, cruel and insensitive to a person’s self-image.

Any other cultures that do this kind of thing?

The Whitening of NFL Rosters

I became a huge Jason Whitlock fan after watching him take Al Sharpton to task for the latter’s alarmist tactics.

Whitlock is a gifted writer not to mention a brilliant communicator, which is why he is linked to right in the “Opinion” box.

A column he wrote for Fox Sports (his new home) titled,
“NFL buffoons leaving terrible legacy”, expounds on the effects of hip hop culture on the composition of NFL rosters.

A sample,

African-American football players caught up in the rebellion and buffoonery of hip hop culture have given NFL owners and coaches a justifiable reason to whiten their rosters. That will be the legacy left by Chad, Larry and Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, Michael Vick and all the other football bojanglers.

In terms of opportunity for American-born black athletes, they’re going to leave the game in far worse shape than they found it.

It’s already starting to happen. A little-publicized fact is that the Colts and the Patriots — the league’s model franchises — are two of the whitest teams in the NFL.

If a white journalist would have said this, Al Sharpton would have called for the man’s immediate dismissal and subsequent hanging. Even if our theoretical white journalist would have added what Whitlock did further down the page,

Race is not the determining factor when it comes to having a good or bad attitude. Culture is.

I recommend reading the entire column to consider the following question: Does Jason Whitlock have a point?

Melanin-based Racism within the Black Community

As I understand it, back in the Ancient world, racism was not based on skin color (a good example of this can be found here). It’s good that as a species, humans are beyond such attitudes. Now we tend to discriminate on more concrete characteristics like skin color.

It remains inexplicable (at least to me) how people can dehumanize others based on things beyond their control, including the amount of melanin their bodies express.

Even within a mixed-color nationality dark-skinned (or darker) folks will be looked down upon by society, and treated differently than their lighter-skinned countrymen. I know this to be fact in my native México, and based on conversations with Indian friends, also true of India. A glimpse at celebrities in each country will reveal that what is considered beautiful is what looks most European (light-skinned) and less indigenous (generally darker-skinned).

A little known secret to those of us here in the United States which are not of African descent (others will argue we are all of African descent, this is another argument for another post) is that even within the black community there exists a bias favoring lighter-skinned individuals over darker-skinned individuals, as the following story seems to suggest,

“Color Divide on Display in Party Invite”

This phenomenon more than likely has its roots in the fact that Western European culture as dominated most of our perceptions of what the standard of beauty is. Yet the fact that it occurs within a community which isn’t hesitant to cry “racism” whether the facts have bore it out or not, is surprising.