salinea: (chagall)
I have miraculously candles even though I couldn't find any at my local supermarkets because my dad called me and told me he had some (waking me up cuz of my crazy sleeping patterns); so, yay, I now have candlelights for Hannukah in my flat. Well, not anymore, these candles don't last very long >_>;

Happy Hannukah! :D

(also it kind of cracks me up that Children's Crusade #8 is going to be released on the last day of Hannukah ;))
salinea: (smug)
"Going Native" sf, anthropology and colonialism by [ profile] coffeeandink

There's a recent survey done by the Anti Defamation League about antisemitism in Europe,7340,L-3669706,00.html
A lesson in modern antisemitism and this other post by [ profile] chopchica talks about it and about her own experience with antisemitism while travelling in Europe. As a French Jew, it's a little bit odd for me to see a post talking about this from the experience of an American on a trip, but actually it's a bit of an eye opener because there are many things I taught myself not to pay attention to just because I'm used to them. I'm also used to see my concerns dismissed and being treated like a pain in the ass when I insist on complaining about the lack sandwich with chicken rather than three different choices of pork or cheese at local RPG conventions.

Over at the westeros board (yes, I still read it, just lurking, shut up), Scott Bakker insists on showing his ass to the public in a thread (and its sequel) about the treatment of women in his books and people who think it's sexist (and people who think any reading about sexism and misogynism in a book is a grave insult that should never be done because it's so awful!! yeahhhhhhh right). On the same thread, several people, especially Kalbear, Maia and needle are being awesome.

There's a Celia Friedman interview at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist with some interesting discussions about sexism in fantasy as well, especially in the comments.
salinea: (Default)
There's a gorgeous post :Whose story are they by [ profile] nextian, about being Jewish and listening to Christian readings of our holy books. (I would also add, listening to Atheist from a Christian background read to our holy books, although the writer doesn't, because that's one of the thing that often makes me flinch when I read discussions on religion and atheism).

It was the second time I'd read a naked Bible, a text without extensive annotation and commentary, without doing straight-up line searches online. It looked rude, or like I was missing half the story. I'm Reform, and I don't believe that the Talmud came down to us from sacred inspiration (Rebecca was three years old? Please, even the Talmudic scholars disagreed on that one), but -- without years of argument and debate surrounding every line, how were you supposed to work past your first assumption about the text? How were you supposed to understand what it meant to your fathers, to those of your mothers who snuck looks at the stories, to Maimonides in Al-Andalus and to Akiva who didn't think much of Jesus when he met him and to the thousands of years of commentators thinking under the yoke of the Christian world?

How was I supposed to sit in class and listen to people say, Maybe we're just not supposed to understand the contradictions in the text?

Or to the new grad student teacher, a Jew himself, telling me, We try to read the text in isolation here?

What does that even mean?

salinea: (Default)
I've been pointed out that one of my paragraph in the post I had pasted from the thread could be read as implying that I thought the death of Jews, in the Shoah, as somehow more important than the current suffering and death of the Palestinian people, when I said it was not a genocide, and as a result dismissing their plight. I wrote this line because this claim (calling what Palestinians suffer a genocide) is something I have heard a few times, and indeed, I've seen someone make this comparison in another thread at the board. However I was not my intent to dismiss the Palestinians' suffering and horrid current plight and I apologize for writing something which could be read that way. I have bow retracted (via striking it out) of my previous post.
Another person commented addressing this paragraph to say that while it was not a genocide, it was in effect ethnic cleansing. I am not educated and knowledgeable enough to address that comment with the seriousness it deserves, which I'm sorry for. But I thought you guys should be made aware at this objection to my post.

My one day suspension having ended, I sent a PM to Ran telling him that I thought I deserved an explainion

This is his answer, and my own answer to him.
lengthy )

There are maybe some people reading this who are puzzled and confused about this, because the first post I made on the subject was flocked. Given that a lot of people commented there knowing it was flocked, I would rather not unlock it. So, sorry for the confusion

There are maybe some people, especially other boarders, who are disagreeing with me deeply about this in general. I want to tell you that I prefer a thousand time for someone to tell me fair and square that they disagree with me, than for them to be bashing me in private under a flock post. Seriously few things make me feel more betrayed.

I'm leaving the board now. I spent a lot of good times there, and I'm sorry to abandon all the people there I enjoyed discussing with, but I don't think I can enjoy myself there anymore.

And that's it for this subject.
salinea: (Default)
This is a subject I almost posted about a few months ago, during the latest HP racism merry-go-round (not the Christmas and antisemitism one which I was too busy being swamped under work to properly follow which is a shame because it looked pretty interesting and I missed some excellent post and could link to only one of them), and eventually didn't because I wasn't too sure of myself. Then today [ profile] lodessa just polled her flist, among other things, about : "Do you consider Jewish people to be White/Caucasian?"

1,000$ question.

Now before I go further, I must give you some context on how I see things. I'm French. In France, a few weeks ago there was an attempt to pass a law to actually let people do statistic studies using ethnic categories. That law was among other things asked by anti-racism groups in order to actually measure racism and its prejudice against people. (It was of course, also asked by big compagnies which would like to be able to do market studies about products like ethnic hair care and skin scare products... but never mind that). The law was eventually rejected after being voted for being anti-constitutionnal.

Classifying people by "races" isn't being looked up very nicely in France. There's some good reasons for that. History, for one : there's this little story about the French state, circa 1939, asking Jews to sign up on list so they could be protected against Nazis, and then a few month later this same list being used to gather up Jews and deport them. As a child, I was taught that racism was, before everything, believing that there are such a thing as human races. Then, there's the whole thing of hierarchizing those "races" or associating specific traits, personnalities and abilities to those "races". But before that, you actually have to pretend that categorizing Humanity according racial lines has an actual scientific ground. Which it doesn't, it's total bullshit, ask any good genetician.

But "races" (and even there I have to use those quotation marks around the word) as used by anti-racist people, in the US or elsewhere, isn't so much about that as it is about the social groups formed around the visibility of cultural/ethnic differences. Being black-skinned is pretty visible, and that's got an effect on the practical life of people who are Black and live as minority within larger group, as well as with the cultural identity they self-identify, and I understand that.

But it still makes me go twitch.

So, chronologicaly, the first time I passed a quizz/test thing on the internet and they asked me my "race", I kind of frowned, and scratched my head. But I wanted to see the result of whatever it was, so I scanned the list : of course they didn't have "Jewish" on it, so after a while I clicked on "Other". I think I did that a few times over the years (not many internet quizzes ask you that).

Then I saw a few racism discussions in fandoms. I read, I learned, eventually I participated too. Among other things I learned about the concept of priviledge, and realized there were some I enjoyed, and some of which I was deprived. And once, I saw a link to a little .pdf pamphlet (which I wish I had kept a link to. ETA : this one : I can fix it, by damaliayo! thanks to [ profile] cryptoxin for linking to it), which was giving white people some advice about how to not be racist. One of the first advice was owning up to the idea that we have race, and that this race was White.

Of course I had a little problem with that.

I don't self-identify as White, first because I still think the concept of "race" is stupid and wrong even if it's useful to fight against racism; and I don't really identify with the White culture (even though it's an obvious influence since I live in it) or the White agenda (as someone said over at [ profile] lodessa's post) since I'm Jewish. And I went away from studying Anthropology with the firm belief that you can't go around and tell people what they should identify as. Identity, complex thing, voluntary basis only.

Then again, that wasn't that pamphlet point. Because If I had been Black, Asian or Native American or whatever, would I have identified as a Person of Colour? Hell, yes. So, not identifying as White, in this configuration, does that mean I see white skin as "default"? Well... kinda. Hello me own skanky race issues.

However, I'm still not happy using racial categories as if there were, you know, actual human races out there. So that's still stopping me.

But an important point remains : I enjoy white priviledge. I know I enjoy it, even if I don't know and might never know how it is to live without enjoying it. I know I've never been called an "immigrant" even though I'm just as 3rd generation immigrant as your average Maghrebin youth from the Parisian suburbs who would typically be called that, with all the insidious racism going with it.

When talking about the Jews overall, there's another issue. The majority of the Jewish population in the US is, I believe, Ashkenazi, who look very "white" overall. However there are Black Jews (both the Ethiopan Jews and from conversion and mixing), and there are big population of Jews from the Mediterranean region and the middle east who can look pretty dark skinned (My mother who was born in Algeria has been confused for Arab at least a couple of times). So you can't really treat "Jewish" as a whole as a racial category separate from the others.

Then of course, people should be aware that there are physical characteristics which have been historically associated to Jews by racist people. Someday I might even properly rant about the way it disturbs me that JKR could describe Snape as sallow skinned and hook nosed, and a master of potions; or, even worse, the goblins has having very similar characteristics as well as being, you know, money-grabbing bankers; while still co-opting the history of antisemitic opression to write her story.

The bottom line is, I think, that those racial categories the US (and a few other countries) use can be a useful tool to fight racism, but they're also problematic. I think neither the US nor France have the best approach about them. US condones too much the idea that "race" is relevent in an essentialist way, and France blissfully ignores issues of priviledge as well as removing the tools to actually know how much racism is a problem. Those categories when used do not represent any essential truth about people, but social classifications which happen and reflect society's basic racism. On the one hand, most Jews enjoy white priviledge and are therefore White/Caucasian. On the other hand, Jews, even in the US, don't exactly enjoy perfect tolerance and integration, and belong to a cultural group which is often separated from the WASP culture that "White/Caucasian" means. Maybe another way to think such system would be better able to represent both those truths at the same time.

IMHO, I'm simply looking at what I understand of American culture through a foreigner's eyes and via the internet.
salinea: (Default)
Stolen from [ profile] harrytheheir's journal, but I'd just have to share the new :

Israeli group announces anti-Semitic cartoons contest!
A Danish paper publishes a cartoon that mocks Muslims.
An Iranian paper responds with a Holocaust cartoons contest -
- Now a group of Israelis announce their own anti-Semitic cartoons contest!

Amitai Sandy (29), graphic artist and publisher of Dimona Comix Publishing, from Tel-Aviv, Israel, has followed the unfolding of the “Muhammad cartoon-gate” events in amazement, until finally he came up with the right answer to all this insanity - and so he announced today the launch of a new anti-Semitic cartoons contest - this time drawn by Jews themselves!

“We’ll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!” said Sandy “No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!”

I am SO amused XD
salinea: (Default)
Let me tell you, eating is GOOD. And so is drinking.

Shanatova and may you have plenty of sweet things, success, love and good health this year *smile*

and a meme stolen from [ profile] halcyon_libra

Post an anonymous comment with three things about yourself. See if I can guess who you are.

edit for cute CCS meme )


15 Sep 2004 09:28 am
salinea: (Default)
A happy jewish new year for everyone ! ^_^

Japanese class was cool yesterday, but some french students were so /rude/ with the teacher !

Been reading some Parasite manga lent by Isabelle. They are very good.
salinea: (Default)
So, I've finally got myself all the papers needed to make myself a new ID Card. But now I need to be back again there tomorrow, because the card is two monthes to be done, but passport is only 3 weeks. And I'm supposed to go to Prague in July ^_^

Otherwise, was watching a couple of TV debates on homosexual mariage and parenthood. (Obviously, because one Socialist Mayor, Mamere, did celebrate one with the expressive disagreement of the state etc.) God, are some people's argument just painful in their stupidity. I want to bring all those people who thinks family's only a father, a mother and nothing else to an anthropology class just to show them how many kind of different family structures exist all over the world. Some people are so narrow minded... not that they would listen anyway *rolls eyes*

On the good news side, that Jewish guy who was knifed the other day didn't have his pulmon perforated. Oh, and if you believe TV information, it's not antisemitism. Good to know, I'm less worried now that I know that if I get agressed by people calling me a dirty Jew it won't be antisemitism.
My mother actually asked us if we wanted to the US after she retires *laugh* Of course, she doesn't want to go to Israel because having lived in a countrie during a war once was good enough for her. I think my father would prefer Israel. I personaly am not sure things are that much better in the US.

Finished reading Walter Jon Williams' the Sundering. Was just as good as the first volume of the serie : excellent military space op things, with good characters, and I adore the description of the society in all its patron/client underdealings, petty politics, administrative incompetence and corruption. Very funny ^_^

Have started a Tanith Lee's collection of vampire novellas. Boy, can that woman write. Pure poetry.
salinea: (Default)
Long day, but I feel pretty reliefed. I confronted my mother about it all this morning, did myself a bit of yelling, and broke a cup of coffee on the kitchen's floor. Now, I know what she does that with me... really good for the nerves. Talked with my father about it afterward. I think the main reasons I was that upset was besodes I was given all that violence, all that turmoils, and I had no laying out, because my mother wouldn't listen to me shouting back, would only shout harder and accusingly. Being able to recriprocate, it's not so hard anymore.

Was late to class, but learn it was in another building. So let me explain to you how Nanterre works. There's mainly two lines of building, perpendicular to each others, with the subway station at the corner. In the serie of building I'm in (Bat E, D, C, B, A, I'm mostly in C) there's all those useless Social Science like psychology, history, I believe there is philosophy too but i'm not sure, geography, sociology, anthropology, art history etc. It's also the place where there's very big ads from the extreme left student syndicates and the unique left one. In the other buildings (Bat G, H and maybe some others), there's the class of things like Law and Economy, well you know, serious humanities class. They are also favorised with many cafetaria where to buy sandwiches (we lost ours a long time ago...) and it's also where there's the right student syndicate, and did I learn the UEJF (Union des Etudiants Juifs Français = Union of the French Jewish Students). Anyway, as I was searching for the room in which I was supposed to have my class I saw an add from the UEJF saying there were an occasion for meeting Israelian students and talk to them, ask them questions etc in... fifteen minutes, and I decided to go.
So, that conference was pretty much interresting and the people very welcoming. Apparently most of them were from this building majors, and didn't go anymore in my part of the building because of very bad reactions from those syndicates, and because their ads were removed anyway by them. :( Anyway, they said they were around by lunch time in the syndicate's local and were organising lots of activities etc. so I will definitly be there again.

I had two different results from the same taste from minor changes, for here's the test.

You are Form 5, Dragon: The Weaver.

"And The Dragon seperated the virtuous from
the sinful. He tore his eyes from his sockets
and used them to peer into the souls of those
on trial to make a judgement. He knew that
with endless knowledge came endless

Some examples of the Dragon Form are Athena
(Greek), St. Peter (Christian), and Surya
The Dragon is associated with the concept of
intelligence, the number 5, and the element of
His sign is the crescent moon.

As a member of Form 5, you are an intelligent and
wise individual. You weigh options by looking
at how logical they are and you know that while
there may not always be a right or wrong
choice, there is always a logical one. People
may say you are too indecisive, but it's only
because you want to do what's right. Dragons
are the best friends to have because they're
willing to learn.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


You are Form 9, Vampire: The Undying.

"And The Vampire was all that remained on
the blood drowned creation. She attempted to
regrow life from the dead. But as she was
about to give the breath of life, she was
consumed in the flame of The Phoenix and the
cycle began again."

Some examples of the Vampire Form are Hades (Greek)
and Isis (Egyptian).
The Vampire is associated with the concept of
death, the number 9, and the element of fire.
Her sign is the eclipsed moon.

As a member of Form 9, you are a very realistic
individual. You may be a little idealistic,
but you are very grounded and down to earth.
You realize that not everything lasts, but you
savor every minute of the good times. While
you may sometimes find yourself lonely, you
have strong ties with people that will never be
broken. Vampires are the best friends to have
because they are sensible.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Finished the Cherryh book yesterday evening... wonder what next I will read ?

Book of the day is Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, and the sequel Kushiel's Chosen. There's third volume in hardcover I haven't read yet, but so far it's pretty good.. It's fantasy set in a very changed Europe, centered around Terre d'Ange (that's France :p) where among other things prostitution is a sacred art and very influential among the Court of the Night Blooming Flowers. Anyway, the main character Phède, is one of them, and a compulsive masochist to boot (due to the mark of the Angel of punition Kushiel) but she's also a spy and a pretty observant one. With such a stereotyped base, the author write a very good and believable character. The world is very interresting to read, and takes interresting basis from european and other mythologies. The style is very lyrical, and it reminded me of Orson Scoot Card. The stories are still a little bit to easy to guess the plot of, but for a first book it's definitly a great work.

Oh, and I nearly forgot : my opinion of miss_rynn is "it don't see her often enough".


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