Moments of Permanence - Post a comment

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Still not dead... Jan. 5th, 2011 @ 10:41 am
Hmm, I've been quiet again, lately.

I have posts vaguely percolating in my head. About beauty, about people, about thinking, about travel shows and Top Gear. Note to self, write them.

Oddly, my impulse to post right now is mostly to do with wanting to do *something* to offset the discomfort I felt, because there are certain words with which I am not comfortable, at all, even when I know why I'm using them.

For example, entering Nigger as a search term makes my skin crawl a tiny bit, even though what I was actually doing was looking up Dick Gregory's autobiography on Amazon. I want to read it, I'm thinking I might order it, and yet, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable having that on a shelf where people could see it or reading it in public, even though it's the autobiography of a civil rights campaigner.

Twitch. And yet. But. Twitch.

That's words for you.

Especially since that isn't even a racist word of my own socio-cultural background. That's an American racist word. Neither where I was born nor where I grew up did I ever come across someone who would use nigger as a racist slur, that I know of.

(And yet, a word that has similar degrees of racist baggage in my socio-cultural background turns up in plant nurseries here - as the "kaffir lime" tree. Which also makes me twitch really a lot. Because in my socio-cultural background nice people don't use that word.)

Then again, in the eastern states there's a chain of Indian restaurants called "Curry Munchers". When I worked at directory assistance I nearly hung up on a customer who said that, until she - understanding my shocked and horrified reaction - explained hurriedly that no, it really was called that...
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