I don't want to get into any heated arguments or insults - but I can't
understand why the racism isn't obvious. As I said, I don't know the
context of the remark. It's racist because it implies that a
"primitive" man is inalienably primitive: even if he adopts the
manners and outward veneer cultivation of a white man, he will still
be in his essential being a black man, a "cannibal", and thus
inferior, primitive and inimical to "progress". Fanon is good at
excavating these processes, if you're interested. It's the same
inflection as when my mother's South African friends (my mother, bless
her, is somewhat to the right of Genghis Khan, and I never talk
politics with her) would say that the Blacks were just inherently
incapable of governing themselves, without heat, without any overt
despite: just as a fact that everybody knows.
On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 8:49 AM, Judy Prince
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> My apologies, then, Alison; apparently I missed the part you had written
> [which you give again below]. It's neither dull nor uninformative.
> I still fail to see why mentioning a cannibal is racist, though. The quote
> qualifies, I suppose, mildly, as what we used to call a 'sick' joke----but
> 'racist'? Huh? What am I missing?
> 2008/10/7 Alison Croggon <[log in to unmask]>
>> On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 12:48 AM, Judy Prince
>> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> > And further, If folks disagree with Fred's opinion, let them go ahead and
>> > give theirs rather than 'red herring' us with 'isms'. If their opinion
>> > given as artfully as Fred has given his, then I'm sure it will receive
>> > attention.
>> I did, and without a whisper of ism anywhere. For the record, this is
>> what I wrote, re the Larkin'Lauterbach comparison:
>> It's a poem about the processes of
>> perception and being, and certainly not written without feeling. I've
>> read better poems along these lines, attempting to honestly delineate
>> the complex ephemerality of a moment - Ashbery comes to mind and even
>> more, Rilke - but I hardly think it's "really really really terrible",
>> nor does it strike me as that breathy kind of fake poetic Frederick
>> claims it demonstrates. It strikes me that while Lauterbach's poem is
>> about entering the specifics of a moment (eternity perhaps in
>> Spinoza's sense, ie some kind of immanence), Larkin's is about
>> transcendence, the absorption into a sublime whole. Totally different
>> poetic consciousnesses. Not sure that it's useful to use one to bash
>> the other.
>> Perhaps it was a dull and uninformative post, but it did, at least,
>> talk about the poem.
>> > Still further, and for Alison, the cannibal and ventilator quotes that
>> > Kasper contributed are neither racist nor sexist---though perhaps
>> > animalist---and they're hilarious.
>> Shorn of its context, which might perhaps be mitigating, the cannibal
>> quote is most certainly racist, if being racist is a term meaning
>> expressive of a racist attitude. It's the kind of thing I used to hear
>> from my mother's associates who campaigned for Apartheid. If it's
>> funny (I can't see how) that doesn't exclude it being racist.
>> > Best,
>> > Judy
>> > 2008/10/7 Frederick Pollack <[log in to unmask]>
>> >> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Alison Croggon" <
>> [log in to unmask]>
>> >> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> >> Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 8:23 AM
>> >> Subject: Re: 2 poems
>> >> You know, the funny thing is that I could let Frederick's obvious
>> >>> sexism go by without a ruffle (and it's not for me to arbitrate,
>> >>> anyway) - but Kasper, this is a horrible and utterly racist quotation.
>> >>> And damn the accusations of PC, which are often just lazy defences of
>> >>> lazy bigotries.
>> >> For the record, I absolutely deny sexism, "obvious" or otherwise.
>> >> Including "sexist" intent in my original phrase "meaty masterpiece."
>> >> kind of reasoning Barry Alpert showed in a) calling ME sexist because
>> >> phrase struck HIM as sexist, as well as b) intimating that La Auerbach
>> >> beyond attack because she has garnered po-biz and academic honors, is
>> not to
>> >> be tolerated. But the bleating of a herd of PC-liberals is as little
>> >> susceptible to argument as a swarm of rightists. I will NOT get into an
>> >> IDIOTIC pseudo-controversy of this sort, which always results in someone
>> >> leaving the list in a self-righteous huff. I'll just go back to my
>> >> lurking state.
>> Editor, Masthead: http://www.masthead.net.au
>> Blog: http://theatrenotes.blogspot.com
>> Home page: http://www.alisoncroggon.com
Editor, Masthead: http://www.masthead.net.au
Home page: http://www.alisoncroggon.com