Re: political correctness gone silly
>Well, I suppose it's possible that anything might take
>on racial or sexual overtones in one context or
>another, but people should be intelligent enough to
>distinguish. Sometimes a cucumber is just a
>vegetable, and not a phallic symbol or a dildo.
>I don't know how tortilla tossing could arise or why,
>perhaps from some food fight which then became a
>tradition. I wouldn't assume that people tossing
>Bratwurst around were deliberately insulting German
>Off hand, tortilla tossing sounds much cleaner than
>tossing of bratwurst, also less dangerous (I wouldn't
>want my glasses broken by a crased sausage tosser!)
>:-) Throwing fried rice (if one wanted to "slight"
>the Chinese) would also be rather messy,as would pasta
>tossing if Italian-Americans were being targetted for
>culinary racial slurs.
>Pizza tossing used to be a part of the process of
>making that type of food, actually. Now, I suppose
>most pizza would be assumed to originate in a box and
>not require tossing.
>I've also heard about pancakes or flapjacks being
>tossed as part of the cooking procedure too, but I
>have never been able to manage such a thing (though I
>think my pancakes taste alright nevertheless).
>I don't know what ethnic group could take special
>offense to pancake tossing. Russians have lots of
>pancakes but so do European-Americans of all types.
>Of course there are "blinzes" (I suppose the word is
>some Yiddish corruption of the Russian word for
>pancakes -- "bliny") which are a Russian way to serve
>thin pancakes (with sour cream) but which the Jews
>have appropriated from Russian culture and called
>"Jewish". So possibly a pancke toss would be taken to
>I will say, however, that there are cultures where
>food is an object of some respect (perhaps out of the
>realization that not everybody always has enough, or
>out of respect for cooks in the case of processed
>foodstuffs, like tortillas). Playing with food is
>therefore definitely not appreciated. Some people in
>the Arab world are inclined in that direction. That
>might be a consideration, but I don't know enough
>about Mexican or Native American food traditions to
>say if it pertains to them.
>In any case, they don't have to pretend that a silly
>custom is "racist" if it's just silly and wasteful.
Back when I was working as groundskeeper at Sienna, I
entered the clubhouse one afternoon to get some water.
I found several co-workers were in there at a meeting,
and one of them threw a pizza crust that landed nearby.
It was apparently targetted at Mr. Todd, the construction
foreman, and it was not intended as an insult to
Italians, Italian-Americans, or pizza cooks but in
retaliation for a remark he had made that was perceived
as sexist which was in retaliation for another remark
made by the thrower, which probably really was sexist
(though anti-man rather than anti-woman).
The lady who had thrown the pizza crust had previously
criticized me for remarks I had made about a certain
religion, so I said, "Much as you berated me for
criticizing one religion, you seem content to besmirch
an entire gender."
This did not improve her mood any, and she threatened
to report me to federal authorities for discrimination.
I replied, "I do not have the power to hire, fire,
promote, or demote anyone. I am incapable of practicing
discrimination in this workplace." At least no more
pizza was thrown.
I actually agree that tortilla throwing should be
banned at commencement ceremonies. It's distracting,
disorderly and offends against the dignity of the
ceremony, and, yes, it is wasteful of food, which I
do find somewhat offensive when there are people who
don't have enough food. Still, calling it racially
or culturally insensitive is absurd.