June 30, 2011

More Orientalism, Please

Ever since Edward Said's 1978 book Orientalism, nice Westerners aren't supposed to incorporate Middle Eastern motifs in their artworks, because that's racist. Or Orientalist, it's all about the same thing in the post-modern academic killjoy mind. Here, for example, is Rick Ayres, brother of Bill Ayres and recipient of a million clams from the Gates Foundation, denouncing Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific for Orientalism. (The Anglican Said had a different definition of Orient in mind, but no mind.)

In 18th Century Europe, however, Turkish Janissary military band music was wildly popular. Haydn's paternal grandparents were among the few survivors when their town was pillaged by the Turk in the 17th Century, but after the Turkish defeat in 1683 outside of Vienna and the peace treaty of 1699 removed the Turkish threat, a fad grew up for Turkish military music. Most of the percussion instruments in the symphony orchestra came from the Turkish music craze of the 18th Century -- e.g., in Haydn's 100th or Military Symphony, there's the hilarious intrusion of percussion instruments about 1:30 seconds into this video of the second movement, and from 4:40 onward in the rollicking finale
My favorite recent work of musical Orientalism is Led Zeppelin's 1975 song Kashmir, especially the 1994 live recording by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, a Western orchestra and an Egyptian ensemble. This 9 minute video begins after the "I am a traveler through both time and space" opening verse, which is good because the instrumentalists are in better form than Plant's vocal cords. The Egyptian combo builds tremendous tension toward end, which Plant and Page resolve startlingly and satisfyingly.

As a self-conscious era of 19th Century Romanticism, Page especially recognized that Orientalism is composed of Western desire as much as Eastern truths, and rather fantastic desire at that. That's why the mystic epic they wrote about a slog through a parched desert [they got the idea for the song in Morocco] is named after a lush valley near the Himalaya ... Plant and Page are clever gents; they could find Kashmir on a map. Such a "mistake" tells us that their core myth is not the wisdom of the East, but the heretical imagination of the West, an imagination that finds itself in transport.

Kashmir was a rarity for Led Zeppelin. Most of their myth-making energies were turned West, however: Tolkien and other English folksiness, Vikings, Delta blues, San Francisco hippiedom, and Sunset Blvd. hedonism.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

So what is the "desire" here? An escape from Western sexual mores or conscience? Please explain because I never was sure.

Dennis Mangan said...

I don't know about Janissary music being "wildly popular". Other than Haydn's Military Symphony, only about 10% of which sounds like the Janissaries, I can only think of one or two short passages in Mozart, and few to none in other composers, that sound even remotely Janissary-like. A few of Rossini's opera's have an "Oriental" motif, but those were 19th century. Re orchestral percussion instruments, it was the cymbals only that came from Turkey.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it the modern drum set is partially composed of elements incorporated from Turkey. (Someone who knows more set me straight.)

Ed Said said...

Ever since Edward Said's 1978 book Orientalism, nice Westerners aren't supposed to incorporate Middle Eastern motifs in their artworks, because that's racist.

Screw you guys.....I'm getting mine before the blacks and Mexicans....well the blacks use it all up.

Best always!


Ed

Anonymous said...

Post WW2 literature's best example of this would be Paul Bowles' Sheltering Sky, about bourgeois expat New Yorkers who travel into the North African desert to "find themselves" in that usual Western way of escape, only to discover that the world outside the Western boundaries is a cruel and inscrutable place. I don't think there's been a better book written about the loss of Western identity, or the desire to lose it. The movie stunk though.

Caleo said...

I couldn't make it past the 1st paragraph of Ayers' useless exercise in deconstruction.
Everything is about someone's struggle. Everybody is always STRUGGLING. Like,struggling to be heard, man.
My God, the Ayers brothers are truly insufferable.
The stench of self importance surrounding these 2 fools is overwhelming.
The comments are even better. A few try to explain the context in which the musical was originally produced, but are quickly " corrected " by a staunch anti-racist warrior who obviously sees this musical for what it is.
There's no room for context with these folks, unless it's to excuse black misbehaviour.

Anonymous said...

What I love about Said is how historically dishonest his general thesis is when you look at it closely. The Islamic "Orient" had for centuries had its own intellectual prejudice against the West, even while pillaging the West for its great works, the like of which do not, and have not, occurred in Arab/Turkic/Muslim Araby.

Recall that Arabic Islam rose to prominence by pillaging the cultures and skilled peoples of three great, highly advanced Indo-European civilizations (the Hellenistic Levant, the Aryan-Persian-Zoroastrian empire in Iran, and the Hindu-Buddhist civilization of the subcontinent), as well as the rich Semitic but non-Arabic cultures of Mesopotamia.

And yet for centuries Arabs/Muslims sneered at the Christian/Greco-Roman/Celtic/Gothic West, in a quaintly "Orientalist" (or should we say "Occidentalist"?) fashion.

No word on what the co-eval Chinese thought of all this.

Said is a chucklehead.

K(yle) said...

Here's some more from Italian rock band Lacuna Coil, from their 2004 album stuffed full of Orientalism. The official music video even contains Orientalist imagery not even associated with the Orientalism of the music. It's a double Otherization! The audacity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCxFTh-XDy8

Owen Hagan said...

More Led Zep. Please! I guess their not SWPL, but damn they really knew how to explore a theme using the tools of ROCK.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

One of my favorite films is Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. I recall a horrified Canadian reviewer wetting himself because Mike Leigh made a film about the most "racist" period in British history.

Come to think of it, I remember another Canadian film review pointing out how the Orcs in LOTR lacked "democratic representation." Seriously.

Do they put something in the water up there?

Scott said...

Wow, you're not wrong about his vocal cords. Your average drunk on karaoke night could out do him.

An underrated Zep song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JybkqBGrVs

Harry Baldwin said...

An interesting aspect of 19th-century Orientalism was the fad for Zouave regiments in Western militaries. These troops dressed in the style of North Africans.

This from Wikipedia
:

Numerous Zouave regiments were organized from soldiers of the United States of America who adopted the name and the North African–inspired uniforms during the American Civil War. The Union army had more than 70 volunteer Zouave regiments throughout the conflict, while the Confederates fielded only about 25 Zouave companies. . .

The Zouave uniform was sometimes quite elaborate, to the extent of being unwieldy. Some Zouave regiments wore a fez with a colored tassel (usually yellow, blue, green, or red) and turban, a tight fitting short jacket (some without buttons), a wide 10-foot-long (3.0 m) sash, baggy pantaloons or "chasseur" trousers, white leggings, and a short leather cuff for the calf, called jambieres. The sash was especially difficult to put on, often requiring the help of another Zouave. The Zouave uniform was better suited for warm climates and rough terrain. The loose pantaloons allowed for greater freedom of movement than trousers, while the short jacket was much cooler than the long wool blouse worn by most armies of the time.

Anonymous said...

Germaine Greer, originally a skeptic, with refined taste, was blown away by a 1970 Led Zep Albert Hall concert:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandjazzmusic/3669830/Germaine-Greer-The-night-Led-Zeppelin-blew-my-mind.html

Kylie said...

Erick Davis wrote: "As a self-conscious era of 19th Century Romanticism, Page especially recognized that Orientalism is composed of Western desire as much as Eastern truths, and rather fantastic desire at that. That's why the mystic epic they wrote about a slog through a parched desert [they got the idea for the song in Morocco] is named after a lush valley near the Himalaya ... Plant and Page are clever gents; they could find Kashmir on a map. Such a 'mistake' tells us that their core myth is not the wisdom of the East, but the heretical imagination of the West, an imagination that finds itself in transport."

But of course. Our fantasies of people, places and things are usually more satisfying to our emotions and imaginations than their realities could ever be. This tendency to romanticize the Other is only heightened when the Other is far away and different in customs and appearance from us.

I have to laugh when I read criticism on movie boards about dialects and casting in Western movies like The Year of Living Dangerously or Memoirs of a Geisha. Those aren't movie made about non-Westerners; they are movies made about Westerners' conceptions of non-Westerners.

All peoples with any imagination at all do this regarding whomever is the Other to them. You wouldn't believe some of the misconceptions the Chinese, say, have about Americans.

Like so much else today, it's only wrong, imperialistic, oppressive and racist when whites do it.

Anonymous said...

Scherezade?

Anonymous said...

The family that makes Ziljian cymbals originaly came from Turkey although by looking at the last two cyllables of their name my guess is they are Armenian in origin.

Svigor said...

Kashmir is Zep's best trance song IMO. Again, No Quarter's right up there too, as is Dazed and Confused. Who did epic like Zep? A list of their epic tracks starts to get pointless; quicker to just buy the albums.

Sometimes I wonder how much production values matter. E.g., would some of those old songs from Judas Priest or post-Ozzie Black Sabbath or whatever sound a hell of a lot better given better production values?

Anonymous said...

"In 18th Century Europe, however, Turkish Janissary military band music was wildly popular."

Only in the 18th Century??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltcMueAFEl0

Steve Ayers said...

Didn't read all of Rick Ayers article, but he has a point in his opening.

The 1949 Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific is hardly edgy stuff in today's world. Asians were mere props and one dimensional caricatures in piece.

For critics to fall over themselves today over South Pacific is a silly as claiming the 1961 film West Side Story accurately depicts MS13 and Crip/Blood gang life today.

If the point is Orientalism is a more a reflection of our own Western projections than of the Orient, well that's true too. I'm sure the Orient has their popular cultural misconceptions of the Occident as well.

Much ado about nothing.

riches said...

Predating even Said’s directive, jazz arranger Carla Bley in her liner notes for Gary Burton's lp, "A Genuine Tong Funeral" (1968) minced, “Any similarity to Chinese music or folklore, other than in the (work’s) underlying Oriental dramatic quality, was not intended.”

Anonymous said...

The Turks were driven from the gates of Vienna in 1683 and now they are back (and with lots of others too).

Anonymous said...

Another classic of post-neo-Orientalism, which Said undoubtedly would have criticized on grammatical grounds, was "Walk Like an Egyptian"

Bryan Townsend said...

I couldn't quite listen to all the song, sorry. My usual feeling about Led Zeppelin is that all the good stuff is actually stolen from other people like Robert Johnson. Except the posturing, that's all theirs! But I had forgotten about the Haydn. There is a nifty Turkish March in the finale of Beethoven's 9th as well. Here is blog post on music and technology that might interest you:

http://themusicsalon.blogspot.com/2011/06/music-and-technology-bigger-is-better.html

Anonymous said...

"Ever since Edward Said's 1978 book Orientalism, nice Westerners aren't supposed to incorporate Middle Eastern motifs in their artworks, because that's racist."

But boy, have we incorporated oriental(semitic/Jewish)elements into our economy and politics.

But boy, have the west--especially europe--incorporated muslim elements into their demographics.

But boy, have UK incorporated aspects of sharia law.

But boy, have we imposed our way of life on the Middle East through endless wars.

According to Said, the problem isn't oriental motifs per se but oriental motifs as the Other, the Feminine, the Sensual and Exotic, as Threatening or Cruel.
On the other hand, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA was a huge shit. (also by a white guy, maybe the inspiration for gay girl in dumbass cause).

Of course, blacks have been bitching that white folks stealing from black music be racist, but white folks keep doing that.

Btw, porn is run by liberal Jews, and it stereotypes black males as superstuds, but I don't hear much peep about that from blacks, Jews, or liberals. I guess anything is good as long as it promotes interracism.

dearieme said...

I remember when the Beatles got interested in Indian stuff: someone said sniffily that The Orient is always found attractive by third-raters.

Slowpoke Rodriguez said...

No mention of The Razor's Edge (book, not album)?

Each MOPE ethny is encouraged to have its own version of Ed Said since it's the surefire route to top billing on the Ivy League course calendar, but it's a lot rarer for average people to confuse serious race-supremacist ideology with the racial caricatures well-loved by everybody. The time-honored example has to be sports teams named Chiefs, Braves, Seal-clubbers; for every white-bread activist incensed about it you'll find one honest Indian who admits they're the only positive non-casino popular images of the bygone culture to survive and either enjoys or doesn't mind it.

Even then, there is something about cheesing off today's Arab/Iranic/Berber/etc. tastemakers by pretending your knowledge of them mostly derives from "300" and "Aladdin"--it's so easy. Normally I'd ascribe that to a quick grasp of the argot of modern shakedown-artistry, but I suspect it's deeper. I don't buy the excuse that it's post-caliphate blues, because if you go back far enough everyone from Mayans to Mongolians has been through that.

I'll make the obligatory statement that people mentally stocked up on stereotypes, however distorted, still retain more useful knowledge of fellow humans than the editorial board that assumes everybody is a mid-western Methodist underneath a superficial local costume.

SGOTI said...

"When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV."

agnostic said...

Said of course had zero impact on real-life culture-making, as the later '70s and '80s were the peak of the recent wave of Orientalism -- the Indiana Jones movies being the best example.

Based on a hunch, I checked out a book on the history of Orientalism in Western lit, and it entirely tracks the trend in the violence rate -- when violence levels soar, people become more fascinated by the unusual, exotic, grotesque, etc.

Periods of rising violence:

Later 14th C
1580-1630
1780-1830
1900-1933
1959-1992

Falling violence levels otherwise since the Renaissance.

It's not that there's no or less attention to the Orient during falling-crime times, but it's more clinical and ethnographic, not driven by a wanderlust or a thirst for the exotic and otherworldly.

So we'll have to wait for the next crime wave for Orientalism to make a real comeback.

John Bonham's Ghost said...

While we're talking about Zeppelin, check out this crappy bootleg recording of Out on the Tiles - it rocks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4quuwZmUitI

Steve the Hebe said...

Stuck on a desert island, with the choice of only one album Zep IV would be it. Whos next and Aqualung (Jethro Tull) would be up there, also. A group not much praised by critics but as good as it gets in live performance was Grand Funk. Early Black Sabbath rocked as well.

Anonymous said...

This is so in my wheelhouse. Circling back around... I commented a few days ago about growing up in a basketball mecca. We jammed Nobody's Fault But Mine before games.

Zep version
Blind Willie Johnson
John Paul Jones, Paul Gilbert, et al

In 1999, Page toured w/ the Black Crowes, and, sitting front row for that, I was in heaven. Would love to find a bootleg of that night's Heartbreaker (live versions of which typically included snippets of Bach).

Finally, do Rick Ayers and Edward Said think I would give a sh$t about Blind Willie Johnson if no one had ever turned me on to the mighty Zep??

agnostic said...

Another source of Orientalist imagery that Boomers or Millennials wouldn't remember is music videos.

The counterpart to the Indiana Jones movies was Duran Duran videos. The best remembered is the one for "Hungry Like the Wolf," but the one for "Save a Prayer" is more sublime:

Save a Prayer

Others were "Rock the Casbah," "Night Boat to Cairo," "Obsession," "La Isla Bonita" (more southern Spanish than Latin American)... the last big one probably being "Remember the Time" by Michael Jackson.

Also huge, though not shown on MTV, was the Maiden album Powerslave, which hit #2 on the UK albums chart and went double-platinum in the US.

Anonymous said...

"Said is a chucklehead."

No, while I disagree with him, he was a brilliant intellectual strategist. If Arab-American community produced more like him, Zionists would be in much bigger trouble. Said proves how important personality is to intellectualism. Though he argued in the interests of progressive universalism, his real gripe was Zionist oppression of Palestinians, and American backing of Israel. In this sense, he played it just like the Jews did. Jews have an ethno- or tribal agenda but wrap it around 'humanism', 'progressivism','egalitarianism', 'universalism', and intellectualism. As a result, many non-Jews jump on the bandwagon of Jewish agenda thinking that it's for all of humanity when it's really headed toward to Jewish paradise(and hell for many non-Jews). Said understood this. If he'd nakedly griped about Zionist oppression of Palestinians, he would have regarded and dismissed as just another ethnic voice speaking for his tribal interests--like Greeks with Cyrups and Armenians over problems with Turks and Azerbaijan. In order to win over the hearts and minds of the American intellectual elite, he made the Palestinian cause a part of the larger cause of progressive struggle for liberation and equal justice. And given the contradiction within Jewish liberalism(nationalism for Jews; multiculturalism for non-Jews)and the pathology of self-flagellation among white liberals, Said knew which buttons to press. White liberals love having their hypocrisies exposed so that they can show off how self-critically aware they are of their subconscious 'racism'. So, when Said pointed out the 'hidden racism within Orientalism', white liberals thanked him as a patient would a doctor for diagnosing the hidden illness, mental or physical.
Paradoxically, intellectuals are sometimes more prone to fall for ludicrous ideas. Like the avant garde crowd, they are addicted to the conceit that they 'get' what most mainstream dumb people don't 'get'. This is part of the appeal of 'gay marriage'. It's utterly ludicrous but liberals take pride in 'getting' something that lame square conventional people don't get.
Freud and Marx taught generations of thinkers that the reality is governed by 'hidden' forces that are actually all around us but unnoticed precisely because of their pervasiveness. We least notice that which takes most note of us. It's like gravity is so much a part of reality that people never gave it any real thought until Newton came along. So, Said made liberals 'aware' that all their kneejerk and conventional beliefs about the West and East were REALLY functions of Eurocentric 'racism', and since liberals hate 'racism', they were soooooooooo thankful that Said pointed it out, thus enabling them to be more conscientious and a little less 'racist'.

And he was knowledgeable and intelligent enough to put it in intellectual terms that might have appeal with the academia. The academia is the source of most ideas. Media pick up ideas, values, and agendas from the academia. And of course, most journalists are products of universities, especially since the end of WWII. Said had a huge influence in the academia, even affecting Jews like Tony Judt.
He was anti-American and a leftist, so I don't like him. (He was also dishonest). But to the extent that he passionately and brilliantly fought for his people in a cultural, intellectual, and political climate that was heavily Jewish and anti-Arab but still managed to change the intellectual--and thus political--discourse, he was one of the greats. Maybe not as an intellectual but as a strategist of ideas.

Anonymous said...

Kritian Davies has a great book on Orientalist art that debunks most of the these claims.

far better example that trash pop music
Sargent's ambergris..

http://www.clarkart.edu/museum/collections/amer_paintings/content.cfm?ID=146&marker=1&start=1

Anonymous said...

over 3 million europeans were enslaved by 'orientalists' isn't that racist?

Lucius Vorenus said...

Here, for example, is Rick Ayres, brother of Bill Ayres and recipient of a million clams from the Gates Foundation, denouncing Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific for Orientalism.

And here is Rick Ayers, his brother Bill Ayers, and an unidentified married black male, in 1965, at the University of Michigan, as they rape a young Jewess named Donna Run [although Ms Run does aver that, "Rick Ayers was a decent person, unlike his brother, and couldn't go through with it"].

Anonymous said...

for east-west music, Natacha Atlas's "I put a spell on you":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tjAtAMGz6U

Marlowe said...

My favourite piece of Western Orientalism is the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, constructed as a residence for the Prince Regent in the late 18th & early 19th century. The British acquired the fashion of growing huge facial whiskers in imitation of the style popular among Indian (sub-continent) warriors whom they both fought and recruited into their own armies.

On the musical front, from the 80s, The Strangler's orient inspired Golden Brown. Oh, and in the 70s Hawkwind's Hassan I Sahbah. The Orient does pretty much mean drug soaked decadence (plus harems) to Western rock musicians. In other words, their own lifestyle as a whole culture.

Anonymous said...

Jewish view on American immigration policy: it must favor NO race or nationality, and it is 'racist' to favor European/white immigrants.

Jewish view on American foreign policy: it must favor Zionist interests and Israel above all other nations for support, aid, funds, sensitivity, trade, etc.

Nanonymous said...

Symphonic arrangements of famous rock pieces are considered quite prolish but in case anyone wants to give it a try:

Kashmir: Symphonic Led Zeppelin.

Jaz Coleman is a genius of a curious kind. He writes weird noise music for himself but interprets others' work with quite amazing touch and inspiration. The result is no longer original artist's music. Instead, it is bona fide good classical music inspired by the original artist. Here is The Battle of Evermore, for example.

And if one really wants more orientalism, Jaz Coleman also released oriental-infused
Doors Concerto with Nigel Kennedy and Prague Symphony. Very nice one, too.

Anonymous said...

The song "One night in Bangkok" even has the word "Oriental" in the lyrics.

Anonymous said...

"You wouldn't believe some of the misconceptions the Chinese, say, have about Americans."

I'm intrigued. Please enlighten me; I know nothing of this topic.

Anonymous said...

There's a rumor on the internet that Jimmy Page is 1/8 Chinese. No idea whether it's true or not.
He always had kind of a round face and almond shaped eyes, but he looks almost like seiji ozawa in photos from the last decade or so.

Steve Sailer said...

Here's a video of a 14-year-old Jimmy Page playing skiffle on the BBC in 1957:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0tAOIQiz-8

Could be. He's a little Keanu Reeveish looking.

The best comment:

I wish during Led Zeppelins concerts back in the 70's that someone like this middle-aged BBC man would come up on stage after the shows and conduct long interviews with the band members. That would be awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Other than Haydn's Military Symphony, only about 10% of which sounds like the Janissaries, I can only think of one or two short passages in Mozart, and few to none in other composers, that sound even remotely Janissary-like. A few of Rossini's opera's have an "Oriental" motif, but those were 19th century. Re orchestral percussion instruments, it was the cymbals only that came from Turkey.

LvB included a Turkish March in The Ruins of Athens [Consecration of the House].

The TM is actually a fairly tame treatment of Islam though - LvB had really gone psycho in the previous movement with the Chorus of Dervishes.

gcochran said...

"that assumes everybody is a mid-western Methodist underneath a superficial local costume."


Like Superman.

Svigor said...

There's no room for context with these folks, unless it's to excuse black misbehaviour.

Lol, nice. That almost sounds like an entry in the leftist dictionaries and lexicons written by rightists.

Here's some more from Italian rock band Lacuna Coil, from their 2004 album stuffed full of Orientalism. The official music video even contains Orientalist imagery not even associated with the Orientalism of the music. It's a double Otherization! The audacity.

Lol! I have a ton of Lacuna Coil laying around from a few years back when I went exploring for decent rock with female vocals. They're not too bad.

Page toured w/ the Black Crowes

Angels of the Silences is Black Crowes, right? Love that song.

dearieme said...

This may be a good moment to point out that three British Prime Ministers were part-Indian: the two Pitts and Lord Liverpool. Awfully Orientalist, eh?

Mahatma Dondi said...

A related East-West Brit musician is Richard Thompson, of had-an-influence-on-Zep British sophistofolkies Fairport Convention and a long solo career. He and his wife converted to Sufi-ism (they even lived for a time in a Sufi commune) but also remained staunchly English (I believe in response to David Essex's glam hit "Rock On" he and his friends did an album called Morris On, with the reference being to traditional Morris dances). Great songwriter and guitarist. And like Zeppelin, he didn't shy away from long epic concert pieces, such as the 13-minute-or-so "Night Comes In."

ben tillman said...

I wish during Led Zeppelins concerts back in the 70's that someone like this middle-aged BBC man would come up on stage after the shows and conduct long interviews with the band members. That would be awesome!!!

Page and the drummer both wanted to do biological research? How great is that?

Kylie said...

"'You wouldn't believe some of the misconceptions the Chinese, say, have about Americans.'

I'm intrigued. Please enlighten me; I know nothing of this topic."


Just off the top of my head. Some of us Americans were complimenting the Chinese on their cooking (delicious) and one, a brilliant doctoral student, said in all seriousness, "Oh, no, it's you Americans who cook so well! I have never figured out how you can cook the hamburger without burning the bun."

OK, maybe not a misconception in and of itself so much as a mistake arising from an underlying assumption that Americans were so technologically innovative. After all, it never occurred to him that the Chinese were so smart that they could stir-fry shrimp without burning the rice. And he lived in a boarding house with a shared kitchen in which Americans cooked hamburgers. But rather than simply watch them do so, he had it in mind that it involved some "American" technique so he simply took it for granted that it was a demonstration of superior American technology.

The Chinese I met were also not used to seeing dogs as pets. They assumed it was some weird Western habit involving filthy, dangerous animals. It was only when they met my dog that they discovered otherwise. Until then, they never asked questions about pet ownership though they often saw pets in our neighborhood. They were amazed and delighted to find that dogs' fur feels good and that dogs not only accept affection but return it.

One told me with tears in her eyes that she'd never before touched a dog. My dog kept her company during her bout with cancer and really seemed to help her spirits. She and her husband started inviting my dog to watch TV with them and leaving her plates of shrimp stir-fry outside my door (while I existed on hot dogs). The Chinese man I dated would come to my place and take my dog for a walk or to stay at his apartment while I was at work though, as he told me in all seriousness, "Do not worry. I will not have sex with her."

The point is, though they were excellent students with rigorous scholarly standards, when it came to their misconceptions about Westerners, they just accepted them without trying to verify them--just as Westerners tend to do about non-Westerners.

TGGP said...

That Lacuna Korn album sucked.

For a while former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'anno claimed his father was a Muslim, but that seems to be something he just made up. Whether that's because he thought that would make him more interesting/exotic or if his congenital terribleness as a person (though to me Paul:Bruce in Maiden is like Ozzy:Dio in Sabbath) extends to compulsive fabrication, I can't say.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

South Pacific should be denounced for it's vacuity in declaring the "you have to be careful taught" to be prejudiced. The opposite, that suspicion of outsiders is natural and you have to be taught how to navigate them, is closer to the truth.