Diversianity Has its Limits

Vigilantism is not encouraged by most of Western society. Which is odd considering how well movies about vigilantes (i.e. “The Dark Knight”) rake at the box office.

Speaking of Batman, the next story features a boat that looks like something the Caped Crusader might con:

Pictured: The bullet-proof ‘Batmobile’ set to wreak havoc on the Japanese whaling fleets

Who is “The Sea Shepherd Society”? Nothing more than a group of concerned citizens that has waged a jihad (“Now batting for Allah, Gaia!”) against Japanese whalers.

One of the vigilantes activists is none other than Daryl Hannah who I guess is just getting back to her roots (right)?

splash

Whaling is part of Japanese culture. How integral? I don’t know, but who are we to tell them what they can or can’t do in international waters?

Incidents between the “Sea Shepherds” and Japanese whalers in the past have resulted in people getting hurt.

These Hollywood types are really something else. They seem to pontificate about how there is no right and wrong, yet there are plenty of things they seem to find “wrong”. So much so that they take extreme measures to battle whatever they deem as “wrong”, multiculturalism be damned.

Much closer to home, why aren’t they protesting the ritual slaughter of lambs by Muslims and Jews? You wouldn’t need a bulletproof Bat Boat to do it either, but for sure it’d upset the apple cart much more than protesting a distant nation’s customs.

To paraphrase a fictional Politburo member: “Where are the cultural relativists here!?!”

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Christmas Poaching

[Disclaimer: The author is fully aware that for most people Christmas carries secular not religious significance]

Ours being a multicultural (in the good way) society, one can expect to run across folks who hold different beliefs or what not. There are Muslims and Jews who are given the opportunity to take time off work, sometimes even paid to do so, to observe their respective holy days.   After all, it’s all about the vinyl folks,

coexist

Fine and good, but it’s always been a curiosity that these same good people accept, without grumbling or complaining, the paid time off their company gives for Christmas.

How does that work? It’s probably the same rationale that grants smokers breaks so they can asphalt their lungs on company time…

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?

Hugo Chavez is an Indian

King Juan Carlos of Spain had the chutzpah to do what many have wanted to do, tell Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to “shut up”. I believe the King’s exact words were “¿Por qué no te callas?” [Why don’t you shut up?]

Look, I’m not advocating for this kind of outburst even if someone has it coming like Chavez certainly has for a long time, Hollywood celebrities and American ex-Presidents groveling at his feet notwithstanding.

Nor am I here to criticize Chavez’ policies or rants against the current American administration. Far be it for me to do this seeming how it is a cardinal sin for a Mexican to criticize the leader of another Latin American country. After all we are led to believe that Señor Castro is a saint and Cuba’s woes are the fault of the Norteamericanos.

Forget the fact that the only thing that unites Mexicans and Venezuelans is Spanish heritage, for the native populations of both countries are different. Which brings me to the main thrust of this post.

Naturally, Mr. Chavez was not thrilled with the King’s request and thus has demanded an apology from the monarch,

“Chavez demands apology from Spain’s king”

Now a quote from Chavez was of utmost interest to me,

Chavez claims he neither saw nor heard the king, as he (Chavez) was addressing Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at the Ibero-American summit.

“If I had heard him … I would have stared him down like an Indian, because I am an Indian and a little bit black and white,” he said.

Stared him down like an Indian? Someone should inform El Presidente how effective the Indians were in defeating the Spanish Conquista of the Americas.

The fact that Chavez said this in Spanish gives testimony to how effective the Indians were.

Japanese Dolphin Hunts and Multiculturalism

This whole multiculturalism thing has been shoved down our collective throats (at least here in the States).

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in saying that and in saying that it has been done to a fault. The advocates of this sort of activity will try to sell us on the ‘fact’ that all cultures are equally valid and how arrogant can we be thinking that Western culture is better than anyone other?

It’s interesting to see this attitude proclaimed from such places like the spired towers of academia or from the Hollywood Hills.

Of course all it takes for these folk to change their tune is a good ol’ fashioned dolphin hunt sponsored by Japanese fishermen.  According to the story, “Heroes” star, Hayden Panettiere, was there trying to prevent the hunt.

According to the story,

The local fishermen and their supporters say hunting dolphins — in this case, pilot whales — is a Japanese custom that outsiders have no business interfering with.

“Whales and dolphins are traditionally being used (as resources) in Japan,” said Hideki Moronuki, chief of the whaling section at the Japanese Fisheries Agency. “In this light, we cannot accept an argument simply based on emotional causes.”

Who are we Westerners to tell the Japanese how to conduct themselves when it comes to their culture? Are Hindus coming over here on surfboards and wetsuits to picket slaughterhouses?

Mr. Moronuki is on my list of “Heroes” (no pun intended) on the strength of “we cannot accept an argument simply based on emotional causes.”

It makes me wonder what Ms. Panettiere’s Japanese “Heroes” co-star, Masi Oka thinks of all this?

Acting White

Some of Jesse Jackson’s recent comments,“Jesse Jackson: Obama’s ‘acting like he’s white'”, brought back some memories from high school and yes even college.

In my high school, there were some so-called Mexicans/Hispanics (I say so-called because most of them weren’t actually born in the countries of our parent culture) who accused me and other Mexicans of “acting white” (the fact that we are considered Caucasian was lost on them).

What they meant by that was: actually giving a flip about education and trying to get into college.

As if going to college was only something “white” people do. Went to college and thought these type of comments were over and done with. I was mistaken.

While at Texas I decided to take a Mexican-American Studies course to satisfy a non-science writing component requirement. Some of my classmates (class size = 15 or so) were pretty gung-ho about the “oppression” and “injustice” inflicted upon Mexicans by the white “hegemony” (a favorite word of amateur and professional “victims”).

In college I was accused of “acting white” again by so-called Mexicans (not only were they not born in México, they could hardly speak any Spanish, go figure).

While their reasoning was different than that of the folks from my high school, it wasn’t any better.

In college, I was accused of “acting white” because I didn’t make it my life goal to see “oppression” behind every bush on the 40 Acres, and because I had a white girlfriend (I eventually married a “white” woman so I guess I’m not keeping it real).

This not to say, that the University of Texas campus isn’t voluntarily segregated, don’t folks usually feel more comfortable around others like them?

Racism still exists no question about it, but who else but a bigot would accuse someone of “acting white”?