a-heist-of-words  asked:

Hello! I was hoping you could explain the whole "stone in the middle of the field" thing from that post about Irish fae folk? I'm really curious! Thanks!

Sure. You should note, though, that as a general thing in Ireland – meaning when you’re talking to just normal people you’d run into, not folklorists or those interested in fantastic fiction – the term “fae” is hardly used at all and will almost certainly confuse people who might hear you say it. Some might possibly think what you meant was  “fey” in the older meaning of the word, i.e. a little (emotionally) unhinged or bizarre. Some – fewer, but it still could happen – might think you meant “fey” in the (slightly pejorative) sense of gay or otherwise not-cissexual. What people here call the daoine sidhe in conversation is normally – if they’re not particularly concerned about the propriety or impropriety of naming them in the first place – “the fairies” or “the fairy people”. Those who are concerned about it will say “you know, the Good People” or occasionally “the Little People”, or use one of the other similar euphemisms in English or Irish, of which there are a lot.

…Anyway. It’s something you see a lot here and there in the countryside. Just a field, and in the middle of the field, a big rock… and signs that the farmer has been working around it for a long time. Local people won’t normally make a big deal of it… just say something along the lines of “Sure it’s been there a long while, it’d be a lot of trouble to move it, we just leave it alone.”

These rocks in the great majority of cases haven’t been placed there by any human agency. Ireland experienced the Ice Age exactly like any other part of northern Europe – the west coast of the island is particularly eloquent in this regard: just look at the map – and as a result there will be “accidentals” dropped by retreating glaciers all over the place. The size of the dropped rock normally determines what happens to it over the course of time. Small ones get broken up and moved, sometimes taken away for building things with. Bigger ones may get left where they are because of any number of combinations of circumstance and accident.

And then of course you get the ones that have been sitting in one place for a very long time, in some cases thousands of years… long enough for the other Old People, the earliest Neolithic inhabitants, to have decided for themselves that a given stone was numinous, and to decorate it with the now-classic pre-Celtic spiral or comb-and-groove designs. At our end of time it takes an archaeologist with ground radar to determine with any certainty whether a given stone was brought to a particular site and emplaced there, or whether it just got decorated in situ.

Either way, I’ve noted over thirty years here that many Irish country people have a tendency to quietly treat very old things (like these all-by-themselves rocks, which might have been put there by somebody…) as potentially numinous whether they’re the work of very distant ancestors or not. I wouldn’t go so far as to think of it as superstition, though the tendency may be affiliated to it. There’s just a… sense…  that some things by virtue of their great age have a kind of power about them, one that’s not particularly well understood and is generally better left alone.

But your neighbors are unlikely to admit this to you so straightforwardly. They may say “My granddad said to leave that alone” or tell you stories they’ve heard about bad things happening to people who messed with that stone, but it’s rare that they’ll come straight out and say they believe such. That said: that stone in the middle of the field there will probably just be left right where it is, and people will shrug and have all kinds of other more important things to talk about when the subject comes up.

Hope this helps. :)

Context on "Morisco"/"Moor" as a Descriptor

herdarkduskyeyes replied to your post: unfantasmarecoreeuropa submitted to me…

YES. But wait… what is this verbal distinction the writer is trying to make between “blacks” and “moriscos (Moors)”? Is this an idea attached to the work itself or the writer’s own opinions leaking through? I’m curious.

I can’t really vouch for anyone’s intentions in submissions. I post them more or less as they come (this one, for example i had to break up for formatting but no words were changed).

My guess is that the source material or the submitter may be making a distinction between Black Muslim people and Black Christians. The specific term Morisco used here referred to Muslims who were forced to convert to Christianity or be expelled from Spain and Portugal (and some nearby regions) in the 1500s. It was specific to a sociopolitical situation during that time, in that region.

It’s not a racial distinction here, it’s a religious one. It’s related to laws passed at the time meant to persecute Jewish people in the area, as well (The Alhambra Decree, et cet.). At the time that manuscript was made, religious differences still would have been considerably more important than what we would consider racial ones.

Over time and in different areas, the term “Moor” and equivalent terms became often synonymous with Black person. It’s “confusing” because Europe isn’t a monolith, nor are Black people in Europe, nor are all European Muslims Black (in history or otherwise), nor are the years from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance, NOR is the term specific TO that era, and so on and so forth.

The term was used in plenty of later centuries as well, in some places being descriptive of religion or race, in other places it did become perceived as a pejorative term, due to colonial attitudes and in some cases, because of mass enslavement and new social distinction that only became relevant because of colonialism.

So, yeah, any time your see or hear the term “moor” or an equivalent being used, you have to consider the context it’s being used it. It can be someone’s name (Saint Maurice, John Morehouse), a descriptor relevant to religion or politics (The Moorish Ambassador, Moriscos as used here), a descriptor relevant to perceived appearance (Saint Gregory the Moor, portraits titled “A Moor”), and as I mentioned, later became a pejorative term in some areas (You can easily blame racist European writers like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for usages like, “How the most unhappy of appearances could have crept in….and the face of Our Savior printed on Veronica’s veil was also given a moorish color…” coming into European academic and historical writing).

Even everything I have just said here is a drastic oversimplification.

TL;DR: The term is very complex but here it’s referring to something specific.

In language, dysphemismmalphemism, and cacophemism refer to the usage of an intentionally harsh word or expression instead of a polite one; they are rough opposites of euphemism….While “dysphemism” or “malphemism” may be either offensive or merely humorously deprecating, “cacophemism” is usually deliberately offensive. The term “orthophemism” has been offered to refer to a neutral name or expression.[citation needed]

Saved my favorite for the final guest spot:
Vermithrax Pejorative, from the 1981 film Dragonslayer, with a tiara.

Growing up in the 90s, my favorite dragon was originally Draco from Dragonheart. When my 6th grade art teacher pointed me to Dragonslayer, I was fairly quick to make Vermithrax my favorite. It might have just been because I valued my teacher’s opinion greatly, but as time past I started to appreciate not just what Vermithrax had to offer at face value, but the production it took to make her in the early 80s. HERE is a great article where you can learn more!


I draw dragons wearing hats! Follow me or come back everyday for a different dragon wearing a different hat, with Wednesdays reserved for characters from tv and film. :)

To most people, particularly those fluent in English, the use of “SJW” as an insult is somewhat bewildering. “Social justice” is a Good Thing. That’s what it means — what it names — the common good. Right relationship. Fairness. Liberty and justice for all. To be a “social justice warrior” then would mean one is a champion for the greater good, for the greatest good, for good for all. So how is that an insult? It’s not even slightly pejorative. It’s like using Superman or Captain America as an insult.
People invent new words for emotionally charged referents, but soon the euphemism becomes tainted by association, and a new word must be found, which soon acquires its own connotations, and so on. […] Even the word ‘minority’ — the most neutral word label conceivable, referring only to relative numbers — was banned in 2001 by the San Diego City Council … because it was deemed disparaging to nonwhites. … The euphemism treadmill shows that concepts, not words, are primary in people’s minds. Give a concept a new name, and the name becomes colored by the concept; the concept does not become freshened by the name, at least not for long. Names for minorities will continue to change as long as people have negative attitudes toward them. We will know that they have achieved mutual respect when the names stay put

anonymous asked:

Why are groupies frowned upon by society? I mean is it wrong that some woman long to know how it would feel to make love with an artist?


It’s bad that groupies are frowned upon by society, yes. But being a groupie isn’t about having sex with musicians…it might be a small part of it, but that is not what’s it’s all about. So I kind of feel like although you seem to be on our side, you also have misconceptions about what being a groupie is! We post about this an awful lot…no one seems to read our blog before sending messages in!

From our about page:

GROUPIE noun. A  young person who is an ardent admirer of rock musicians and may follow them on tour.

Those who enjoy one’s talent enough to create the desire to form a relationship, whether it be a friendship, casual relationship, or romantic relationship. These people often proved to be muses and inspirations for the musicians, due to the combination of loyal fan and friend.

It’s not about notches on bedposts - having romantic involvement is just an added bonus - it’s about embracing fandom in a way that is considered out of the norm.

While that isn’t a complete/definitive definition, you get the idea.

But back to your point. Being a groupie is frowned upon by society. I would say that that is true, and it’s true because society is very sexist. Society does not like strong women. Society likes women to be genteel, quiet, home-making mothers. Not that there’s anything wrong with being any of those things, don’t get me wrong. But we women should be allowed to be whomever we want to be, whether that’s a friend of musicians, an astronaut or a mother…or well, even all three!

There’s a misconception that all we do is have casual sex with certain men because we want to brag about bedding a famous person. That lie was perpetrated by the media and jealous people. It’s all bred from ignorance and that’s why we’re here, to educate people as well as give out advice to those in need.

- Sofia

some interesting old timey slang:

- ice / jewelry
- iced / killed
- cooler / prison
- can or head / bathroom
- wog / ethnic person
- wop / pejorative for italian
- mick / pejorative for irish
- kraut or jerry / pejorative for german
- cat / man
- bird, broad, dame or doll / woman
- back seat bingo / first base
- ankle biter / kid
- hep / cool
- mickey mouse / stupid
- unborn / clueless
- bread or gravy / money
- classy chassis / hot bod
- peachy keen or swell / great
- candy ass / cowardly
- motorized freckles / insects
- hooch / bootleg liquor
- hoochie or good time girl / hoe
- horsefeathers or applesauce / expletive
- swank or ritzy / classy
- gay / fun
- gumshoe / private investigator
- palooka / shitty boxer or athlete
- whistle bait / hot chick
- lettuce / money
- gas / exciting
- putz / an idiot
- fruity / crazy
- sauce or booze / alcohol
- dogface / ugly guy
- bees knees, dog’s bollocks or cat’s pajamas / the best

As a black veteran, I always stand for the flag. But I understand why Colin Kaepernick doesn’t.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem last night before his team’s nationally televised football game against the LA Rams. This was of little surprise. He made headlines last month by refusing “to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” before a preseason game, and he’s been repeating his protest ever since. Others have joined in, to include several NFL players from various teams, Seattle Spirit soccer star Megan Rapinoe, and three West Virginia University Tech female volleyball players.

Kaepernick has been accused of being selfish and unappreciative of the success he’s achieved. He’s been called un-American, unpatriotic, and a host of adjective-laden racial pejoratives unfit to print. I was particularly struck by the charge that his political protest for racial justice was disrespectful to the most esteemed entity in present-day American culture: the troops.

I’ve served in the military for the past two decades. For my entire life, I’ve been a black person in America. When Kaepernick decided to sit, these two identities stood toe to toe. For the first time, I felt these defining parts of my life were in direct conflict. It was as if I could only stand in solidarity with one of the two. After all, how could a military officer agree with dishonoring the flag that so many — of all races, ethnicities, genders, and religions — have died to preserve? I couldn’t. I can’t.

But how could a black man — any American, for that matter — quietly accept the racial injustice that permeates our country’s society and institutions?

I couldn’t. And I can’t.

My blackness and my military service peacefully co-existed — until now.

In general, my blackness and my service have peacefully coexisted. I saw no contradiction when standing in the mirror each morning pulling the cloth of the nation over my shoulders. I feel no shame in sometimes getting misty-eyed when the national anthem plays, like at a recent high school football game when the flag waved over an evening sky of amber and purple. And I see no problem with the oversize black-and-white picture of Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising gloved Black Power fists at the 1968 Olympics hanging in my basement across from what we military types call the “I Love Me Wall,” where awards, commendations, and unit memorabilia are displayed.

For longer than the United States has existed, black people have fought in every conflict for the nation’s creation and preservation. There is nothing contradictory about a black American serving in the military of a country that has treated black people unequally since its inception. Military service is the ultimate claim on citizenship and equality. It is its own form of protest that complements, not contradicts, the civil disobedience that challenges the state itself. There is no difference in the patriotism of those who fought against Jim Crow and of those who fought in our nation’s wars, and many did both. This is superlative citizenry, not a self-defeating endeavor.

So the internal tension Kaepernick’s activism generated in me was not the result of some natural incongruence of being black in the military, but the clash it caused between black culture and military culture. In the military, we voluntarily agree to live by a special set of rules and be held to a different standard. We accept abridged freedom of speech and restricted freedom of movement. We do this in an attempt to maintain good order and discipline.

This is ingrained in us from the moment training begins. Every morning on every military base, the flag is raised and the anthem is played. The ritual of raising and lowering the flag is a solemn and serious undertaking. And in no uncertain terms, we are instructed that when the national anthem begins, we are to stand at attention, face the flag, and render a salute.

Whenever the flag passes in front of us, we are to continually face it and ensure our back is never turned to it. If we are walking when the anthem begins, we are to stop in our tracks and salute. If we are driving on base and the anthem begins, all cars stop, no matter where they are, and driving does not resume until the song is done.

There is no debate or discussion about the anthem, the flag, or the customs associated with paying proper respects. The flag and national anthem are the embodiment of the sacred oath each of us takes to no longer put ourselves first and the commitment we make to the nation and those with whom we serve. Standing at attention and saluting the flag is ultimately an act of solidarity — with the country, its principles, and those with whom you serve.

But as a black American, I know that racial solidarity can sometimes be an existential requirement for our well-being. Historically, black people have been forced to live by a different set of rules and had basic human rights reduced or completely denied. The nation permitted this in an attempt to maintain a particularly racialized sense of societal order — all done under a waving star-spangled banner.

Every advancement black people have made away from violent racial subjugation toward equal citizenship has been the result of standing and fighting together in the communities, streets, courtrooms, and voting booths. These acts of solidarity have ensured our progress.

So when I am asked my opinion of Kaepernick, it feels like I’m being asked to make a choice between my loyalties. Expressing support for his demonstration would mean I’m breaking solidarity with my brothers and sisters in arms. But criticizing him would be a betrayal of loyalties to black people who are fighting for a more just society. This sentiment is not new. More than a century ago, historian W.E.B. Du Bois contemplated this same duality:

“One ever feels his twoness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

Kaepernick is not showing disrespect to veterans.

But such a polarized view, while perhaps a natural inclination, is wholly unwarranted in my case. First, supporting Kaepernick’s right to free speech is both consistent with military service and not an endorsement of his speech. I am not alone in this logic. The viral hashtag #VeteransforKaepernick showcases veterans of different races and ranks offering their support for his right to exercise his freedom of speech. It was created to directly refute assertions that his actions were offensive to all those who have served the country. I don’t know a single black vet who feels disrespected by Kaepernick, and I don’t know a single black vet who would employ this form of protest.

Second, I realized there is no way to choose between loyalties, because there is no way to temporarily or permanently shed either one. They are both elemental to the man I am today, and it is impossible to disaggregate the combined effect they’ve had on my formation. Like my race, the military cultural contribution to my lived experience is not something I can shed, even when the uniform comes off.

But finally, I came to terms with the fact that the tension was rooted more in the expectations of me as a black man and a military man. When I am asked about Kaepernick, there’s a sense that I need to provide an answer that authenticates my responsibilities to the race as a black man or my duties to the country as a military man. I don’t.

It didn’t take long to resolve the initial tensions I felt. Realizing that there was no necessity to choose and reach a tidy resolution relieved the pressure.

Here’s the bottom line: I will not sit during the national anthem in protest. Nor do I think men and women who volunteer to serve in our military should, as one sailor recently did. We have committed to live an uncommon life and have done so of our own volition. And even given my recent retirement from the military, I still stand at attention when I hear the national anthem; this will not change.

But sitting during the national anthem is no more disrespectful to the men and women who serve in the military than standing during the national anthem is respectful of those who committed race crimes in the name of the state. When I salute the flag, I am not saluting the denial of veterans’ benefits to black service members for decades. I am not saluting civic and economic disenfranchisement. I am not saluting the aggressive policing and incarceration of black Americans.

I salute the founding idea that distinguishes the United States. And I salute all those who have fought to bring that idea closer to reality.

Similarly, Kaepernick doesn’t kneel because he doesn’t believe in the promise of America or doesn’t value the founding principles; he kneels because the country has fallen short of these things. Kaepernick kneels because of the things I do not salute. This does not put us at odds.

My decision to retire from the military was sparked by a burning desire to help the American dream become more attainable for black citizens. Today, I conduct research into how to best marshal black electoral power to realize policy outcomes that reduce disparities. The same benefits historically denied to black veterans made it possible for me to obtain a doctorate and retire at a young enough age to pursue a second career. The very activist spirit that fuels Kaepernick now is responsible for the changes in America that made my military career and access to these benefits possible.

The next time the anthem plays, and I stand to honor America while the activist-athlete kneels to hold it accountable, I will be proud to know we are fighting for the same thing: a just and equal nation.

Theodore R. Johnson is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and an Eric & Wendy Schmidt fellow at New America. He is a retired commander in the United States Navy. Find him on Twitter @T_R_Johnson_III.

I’m aware that one argument we Muslims utilize against those who illegitimately criticize Islam is that Islam is not a monolithic religion; that (as echoed by Reza Aslan) like any other faith, one’s mindset can determine one’s interpretations and practice of it. From this apparent diversity a spectrum of beliefs are practiced, some of which that are more problematic than others.

But this personalized view seems to ignore the communal influence and the way various Muslim communities still internally seem promote a fairly singular narrative of what constitutes as an “ideal Muslim.” Our implicit criticisms and judgments- informed by our communities- still carry a pejorative notion against those who we learn are not “committed” Muslims, and we continue to appraise others based upon our pre-formed images. This begs the question whether the diversity we like to present is largely just an argument to bar external rebuke, or if it is an actual reflection of significant parts of our communities truly trying to cultivate a sense of respected acceptance.

We have failed

By every study and report, we are faced with an epidemic of, what our culture blithely calls, bullying.

Every school and every school administrator and teacher has to deal with the issue. It is pervasive and real and it is an expression of our failure as a culture, society, a failure of our academic system and a failure of parents!

We have lost the sense that our elders had naturally; that there are some Men who are born to greatness, whos aggression, passion, physical ability and leadership skills were absolutely necessary for the survival of the community.

Those who had those gifts were recognized at an early age, and were given outlets to foster their leadership and greatness. They were separated from the ordinary men, who lived their lives, did their jobs and contributed as simple, ordinary men.

Both groups different from the “lesser men” who were born and identified early on as “inferior” (not in a pejorative sense) but simply as those born to serve the Great Men. They were honored in this, and honored to serve. They knew it was their destiny and how they contributed to the community.

No shame, no embarrassment, no sense that their life wasn’t worth living or of value. They were inferior and served and made the community stronger by being what they were born to be.

Fast forward to today and our culture that tries, insanely, to identify all men as the second tier, as the ordinary, equal, identical men. Any derivation from this norm is seen as an assault, as a false hierarchy.

So the Men who are born to power and strength must seek their own way of discovering the truth of their lives, they must find their own way to Alpha power because our culture says what they are feeling is untrue, unreal and unacceptable. It says they are not special, better, stronger. This is a lie.

Parents tell their children that they are equal, identical; and so the Strong seek out the natural inferiors and try to find their way by dominating them, as their genetics demands; and we crush them for it.

The inferiors are confused and lost, seeking the truth of their lives, but living in a world that says their natural inclination is false and a lie. We have failed…

Hence, bullying.

If we want to end this epidemic, then we need to embrace again the truth our ancestors knew so naturally. We HAVE to identify the Alpha from an early age and give Him the training, the freedom and outlets He deserves. We HAVE to identify inferiors at an early age and raise them to embrace the joy of their position, and honor them for doing so; the beautiful joy of serving the Alpha. We need to do this in our homes, churches, schools, everywhere.

There should be no bullying as it exists today, just the raw, natural and beautiful gift of Superiors dominating their inferiors…as is right and natural.

Only then would our culture survive, be healthy, grow stronger, and survive.

Postmodernists claim they are post-structuralist, but what does this mean? It means they reject any attempt to understand how things work […]. It means, in political and practical terms, putting change beyond our reach. It means thinking in a circle, so at the end we arrive back at the beginning. But this time, we are so worn out from trying to disentangle the postmodernist abracadabra that we lack the strength and morale to start over. Considering the importance postmodernists give to language, they are incredibly sloppy in its usage. Critical terms such as binary and essentialism have no fixed meaning and function– [they are] simply [used as] pejoratives. As for the pretentious philosophical posturing, by prefacing their claims with words such as “metaphysical” and “epistemological” and “meta-epistemological”– in critical theory, these have no purpose other than to intimidate the reader. None of the ordinary meanings associated with these terms apply, so why use them? Words are not being used to inform or to clarify, nor to build one thought upon another until some explanation emerges. Words are tossed in to impress or to dupe. It is impossible to tell what postmodernists mean because they use the same words to mean different things at different times. For all the emphasis on the importance of language, postmodernism throws away language as a tool of either understanding or communication. At best, language becomes an end of itself.
—  Ti-Grace Atkinson