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This is pretty funny, but I'm having trouble seeing the Ryan Adams element. Anyone able to explain? I pretty much just hear someone singing T. Swift like Lou Reed mightve.

disbell  ·  3030 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's a White Man's Internet

I think the American military presence is much less of a factor. The Army has gotten better about managing the young enlisted crowd, and anymore there's a greater likelihood that off-base shenanigans gets off-base punishments. And to be really blunt, GIs, especially enlisted, are viewed pretty low in comparison to other OECD foreigners by Koreans... just about the bottom of the developed-world heap. It used to be much worse, in terms of both how some GIs got away with stuff and general tensions between GIs and locals. In the 70s, there was a major riot in/near Itaewon, which started with black GIs not being provided the same services (as well as "services", ahem) as white GIs.

The colorism you brought up is interesting. Yeah, it exists, but I wouldn't say that it has a major impact all on its own. It's more or less something that kids tease each other about, and less directly, might play some role with the extreme importance of outward appearance in Korea (pictures on resumes, etc). It's also important to note that this colorism has just about nothing at all to do with white people; it's been considered a mark of beauty and class in Korea for centuries (kind of like it used to be in Europe, where you didn't want to identify as a tanned laborer).

The TEFL thing also requires a little more nuance. Those shitty job listings are written by the privileged majority, and they're also among the worst jobs. Korean Americans get the shaft there, but then again Korean Americans get easy access to a much better visa. Interestingly, Irish and other native speakers (white or otherwise) often have doors closed based on their accent- some schools specifically want a North American (most common) or RP-British teacher. We can connect all this back to ethno-nationalism (even ethno-linguistic-nationalism?), as language teaching visas in Korea are restricted to countries where some bureaucatic process has decided real native speakers come from- generally, wealthy(-ish) countries with a visible white population. So South Africans, regardless of what language they actually learned first, are in (including black and brown, though much less common in practice), while Indians and Phillipinos are out- again, you can see some blurry lines between race and economic status.

disbell  ·  3030 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's a White Man's Internet

You didn't get to East Asia, but do you mind if I do? I lived in Korea for a few years and my wife is Korean.

Things work a bit differently than in the UAE, though there are some similarities, based on your description. The ethnic Korean majority is the top of the heap. After that, it's really hard to say... within that majority, men definitely have a couple rungs on women. Among minorities, "westerners" or people from developed countries (this would include places like Japan or Taiwan, I think) are at the top of the heap (and among them, whites are generally treated better than black, brown, or Asian westerners). Yet its hard to say that "white privilege" applies- while whites in Korea do have certain privileges compared to say, laborers from Cambodia, it's clear that Korean males run the show- privilege is based on power.

Anyway, a theme throughout East Asia in "race" relations is ethno-nationalism (ethnicity is tied to national identity) and a dynamic relationship between economic and racial/ethnic status of outsiders. A black American would be somewhat more positively viewed than a black African in many such countries. A Thai American might have to deal with more shit in Japan than a white American (including stuff like "so... where are you really from?"), but will probably have a bit more social status than a Thai-Thai.

So on that note, I would agree, to a small degree, with sentiments expressed in this topic that American race relations don't necessarily apply to a global discussion of race. "It's a white man's world" requires some qualification (ethnic minorities in China might say it's a Han man's world), but we can certainly say "It's a white man's country". But that's kind of nitpicking, and I think the original post is spot-on to frame the issue in the US.

disbell  ·  3033 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: August 10th: What are you reading this week?

I'm reading Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter. It's a history of English, and McWhorter presents the case that English is so different from other Germanic languages (Dutch, German, Frisian, etc) because of Celtic influence between the Jute/Saxon invasions and the Normans.

It's pretty well written, in terms of style, but I feel that it occupies kind of a weird space. What I mean is that the treatment of the material might bore a layperson (and McWhorter can get a bit repetitious when trying to drive a point home), yet as someone somewhat familiar with formal linguistics (I do applied ling), I find myself wanting a more technical treatment with more in-text citations. Other pop-Ling that I've read, like Pinker's Language Instinct, feels brisker and more accessible, yet still able to provide enough meat to a semi-specialist.

text  ·  #fuckyoufuckthis  ·  #imout  ·  #goodriddance
disbell  ·  3034 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Any other first-year PhD students out there?

Oh yeah, I do agree that some insecurity is actually quite healthy. It can really push you to do more, and strive to do things better.

Good luck with calc!

disbell  ·  3035 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Any other first-year PhD students out there?

I'm just starting a PhD too! In a somewhat related field, too, . I'll be studying second language acquisition, and I plan to focus on language assessment.

I share your excitement. I wouldn't say I feel nervous, though... the negative feeling I have would be insecurity, I guess. Insecurity even though I'm really happy with how my applications turned out and the program I ended up choosing. I've started meeting more people in the program, and seeing how smart everyone is and the cool work they're doing feeds the excitement and the insecurity, haha. But I've had this problem for the past year or so where I compare myself (not yet started a PhD) to friends/colleagues in their 2nd+ year in a program. Even though I tell myself that's just silly to do, it's hard to shake.

From what I've read, though, academic insecurity may never go away: (the article focuses more on women, but men are susceptible as well)

disbell  ·  3035 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Jon Stewart, Patron Saint of Liberal Smugness

I can't really agree with you or the NYT op-ed.

It seems your criticism is that young liberals (the ones you've met/associate with, anyway) are numbskulls who can only parrot whatever Stewart feed them. First, I don't think you can generalize that to the entirety of young liberals or to the entirety of the Daily Show's viewership. Second, if all that Jon managed to accomplish was bring some basic awareness of really fucked up or moronic policies and maybe got some otherwise apathetic young liberals to donate or volunteer or vote for something, then he's been a resounding success.

You (to perhaps a lesser degree), and the NYT op-ed, also seem to be fond of the "same-thing both sides" line of rhetoric (your bit about "nearly as much to drive a wedge" and basically the whole false-equivalence tone of the NYT article). This makes the really dangerous assumption that the young liberal crowd is somehow as extreme as the far-right, or that Stewart has been as misleading as right-wing propaganda. Young liberals, however knowledgeable they are or aren't on a particular issue, aren't pushing for anything that ought to be construed as politically extreme- no expropriation of private enterprise or property, no peace accords with ISIS, or anything else that would be out there on a political spectrum. Meanwhile, conservatives have been all about blocking marriage rights, defunding planned parenthood, privatizing social safety nets, revising (and whitewashing) history, entering more wars, etc- ideas that really can't go much further right. Same with Stewart- he might oversimplify or resort to soundbites, but he never deliberately misleads for political purposes, and doesn't claim to be fair and balanced while doing his thing.

Is Jon "driving a wedge" because he has a smarmy, humorous approach when discussing things like "hey, not letting gay people get married is pretty messed up and has no constitutional basis" or "gee, politician X really changes his lines of argument when convenient" or "y'know, people blocking healthcare for 9/11 responders, an issue that should be a political win-win for everyone, is fucking absurd"? Do we want to equivocate this kind of wedge-driving with rhetoric like "after they finish AP US History, they're ready to sign up for ISIS" or "the Mexicans coming over the border are rapists" or "you're either with us, or you're against us"?