Non Aeon Flux discussion - prejudice charged taboo words within a society.

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I want to discuss this. Mostly the part about deflating taboo words in our society, but whatever else I rambled about you can challenge as well.
Alright, go!!!

And I'll warn you, if I don't get some responses to this I'll start debating myself, and that's not very pretty.

[quote author=Blakiepoo link=topic=45183.msg552485#msg552485 date=1179994264]
i hate when gays use "faggot".

It does us (as a group of people) any good. It just gets the 1 person using it attention. Having it as part of a song for people to chant it and bring a new popular wave of usage.

can't we just bury this word and find a new word?

Yes we get it, you're exclaiming that it doesn't hurt you because you say it yourself, and you want to seem edgy by saying it. it's just unnecessary bravado and irresponsible indulgence.

2 thumbs down for sexyback but gay.
[/quote]

No, this sort of stuff bothers me. This goes for nigger too. You can't bury a word. It's not practical. Have you ever heard of the pink elephant exercise? It's a little exercise that exemplifies a common rule in psychology. You tell everyone in the classroom to picture a pink elephant in their head, and then tell them to stop thinking about it. The pink elephant won't go away, because everyone in the classroom is trying to suppress it. As soon as the teacher moves on to a new subject, and emphasis of the pink elephant is depleted, the pink elephant is gone.
The word faggot won't go away if you try to suppress it, and it's obviously not going to disappear by a lack of usage, so the only thing to do is to deflate its emphasis.
But you're right, gays calling each other faggot probably won't succeed in doing much. Ideally gays should start calling straight people faggots so that the meaning of the word becomes confused, and is no longer used in a derogatory manner against gays.
Of course this will never happen because, on the whole, society is a bunch of jackasses who spend their entire lives fighting for, or against, impractical ideals, rather than searching for legitimate solutions.
Human beings are sustained by a constant revolution that amounts to nothing!!!
Well, hardly anything, at least. That's why most change in the human race is crossgenerational, and very much like natural selection. We think that we've overstepped evolution, but really only a select few people in history have been able to overcome the human grind and better the human race in a very precise and calculated way. The rest of us merely follow under a slow and unpredictable change, unaware, and usually indifferent, of where it will genuinely lead us. As long as we have our sense of moral superiority, we are happy, and the truth means nothing.

J. F. Aldridge, Monday, 28 May 2007 07:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I forgot to say this, but I'm simultaneously running this debate on three different channels. I'll update from both of them.

This is from the forum:

Quote from: Blakiepoo on 28 May 2007, 10:15 AM
yes of course you can't bury a word, but lots of words have been lost in the past, and the way to get that to happen isn't making a song with the word in the title. If i could speak to the world, I wouldn't tell them "everyone stop using 'faggot' starting.... NOW!". Obviously that would be pointless. I congratulate people making an effort to change things for the better over those who just criticize about how silly and ignorant those people are in their attempt.

This is a song by a gay guy piggybacking on the infamy of a word that does us no favours, and will just popularize it even more. If you subtly tell people to picture the pink elephant in a tv ad, they surely will.

Sure, lets have everyone ram their heads through a wall for world peace. That's commendable.
Almost all of the most atrocious acts in history were either done for a good cause, or in the guise of a good cause. Look at ANY time in history to see how misdirected philanthropy can amount to nothing more than manslaughter. Rationalized efforts of good can EASILY succumb to an overwhelming cause. Everyone should be careful of that when they try to better their own society. You can make attacks on me for trying to be rational rather than complaining about how offended I am when whoever says what, and yes, my nihilism gets the better of me sometimes, but I say what is the best solution I see fit, and if you want to challenge me then that is fantastic (not sarcasm), because I'm more interested in the best solution then about being "right."

Words have disappeared from lack of usage, yes, obviously, but the word Nigger has lasted for well over a century because it has always retained it's unique effect to harm someone. So the only practical way to get rid of it is to dilute the effect of it's usage. Otherwise we will only be waiting for everyone who knows the word to stop hating gays, which seems a little unrealistic.

Modified: I didn't approach the second paragraph of your comment directly, which I should've, but I don't think media censorship will deplete the effect of the word. Draining away the power of its usage seems, to me, to be the only way of letting it die.

J. F. Aldridge, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I didn't realize there was no clear endquote on the previous post, and now I cannot change it.

My comment starts at:
"Sure, lets have everyone ram their heads through a wall for world peace. That's commendable."

I apologize for the confusion. Here is another comment and reply from the myspace end:

(Reply to original post)
/agree

But that's not always how it happens. The blacky folk have tried to remove the damaging power of that particular slur by using it constantly - even as a sort of endearing term - but the end result is a massive argument over whether or not you can pronounce it as 'nigga' or 'nigger'.

It was a valiant effort on their part, no doubt. I imagine that if the gayz were to practice something similar, there would be national outcries of whether or not it's appropriate to say 'faggo' or 'faggot' and which one is more offensive.

Posted by spurious pruritus on Monday, May 28, 2007 at 9:34 AM

Right, I definitely agree, there is an inherent flaw in their current plan to desensitize the word nigger, because word usage is complex. A word will mean different things coming from different people, and will posses new meaning throughout a variety of different situations.
Yes, using the word Nigger between black people as an endearing term will cauterize the inflammatory nature of the word within that circle, but it does nothing to deflate its effects when it's passed between a white person and a black person.
I think the current, and considerably inane, struggle about the difference between 'Nigger," and "Nigga," is probably a result of the ineffectual desensitization of the term Nigger. It's like when the church runs across an overwhelming problem it can't resolve and ends up splintering over, what are often times, fairly trivial reasons. Basically I'm saying it's a scapegoat. One that resulted from a halfcocked plan, and I don't believe, or I hope it doesn't, exemplified the meaningless pandering that waits at the end of any, and every, attempt to better society.

Posted by Steven Geyser (This is me!) on Monday, May 28, 2007 at 7:53 PM

J. F. Aldridge, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I warned you that if I didn't get a responses on this board I would start arguing myself.

Well, here's my first retort to my original post:

Hello you sexy beast of a poster, you show an impressive amount of ingenuity in your societal wonderings, hehehe, but you choose to omit the intricacies of your own proposal to maintain your prophetic ramblings. What happens if gays and black people start referring to white heterosexuals as faggots and niggers, respectively, and it turns into a feud that further schisms the two minorities from the ruling class of America. It could be argued that the debate over the word nigger has furthered prejudice merely by putting the “black issue” on the forefront of people's minds. The new effort might remove the safer title of “victim,” and could possibly portray blacks, gays, or any other minority, as aggressors. This would give conservatives more power as they appear to be on the defensive.
Plus you risk the possibility that foolhardy members of your own cause will be overwhelmed by their sense of aggressive moral superiority, and could quickly heighten their actions of a self-perceived verbal attack, “nigger,” “faggot,” into a physical one. The original intent of the plan would of course be a friendly one, but due to the sensitivity of the word, the confrontation has a high risk of escalating. It would be analogous of two children calling each other names, but have only one of the names be hurtful. It almost seems the ONLY possible result would be violence.

J. F. Aldridge, Tuesday, 29 May 2007 03:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink


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