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Re: Re: [dogme] Re: Teaching Unhinged

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  • Edward Whiteside
    Besides the human race I don t know of any other sub-races or extraterrestrial races? As far as the history books taught me, the Irish people are made up
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 1, 2005
      Besides the human race I don't know of any other sub-races or extraterrestrial races? As far as the history books taught me, the Irish people are made up historically of various invading peoples (all of whom belonged to the human race).

      After passing Lavery's in Belfast after midnight, I can understand why some people get the initial impression that Irish people are beer-swilling, agressive drunken thickos, but I agree with you that it is not something to laugh about.

      When we moved to England in the seventies, most pubs had a large notice nailed to the door stating: No Blacks! No Irish! No Gypsies!

      At school in England I had my Belfast accent kicked out of me. It wasn't safe in England to have a Belfast accent back in the seventies. Everytime there was a bombing I got a good kicking.

      Back in the seventies the English did not make a distinction between Catholics and Prods. They didn't care.

      Now to Irish jokes.... I think that they have become outdated and no longer particularly funny...

      Diarmuid Fogarty <dfogarty@...> wrote:

      As an Irish person growing up in Britain, I was told that Irish jokes
      were just a laugh. Even Irish people told me that I should lighten up
      and that there's nothing wrong with laughing at ourselves blah blah

      B*llocks! I don't mind laughing at myself when I mess up or when I say
      something idiotic (I'm feeding the lines to you today) but I object to
      somebody tarring my whole race with the same brush. I object to being
      thought of as a beer-swilling, aggressive drunkard thicko. That's not
      laughing at myself, that's ridiculing me and confirming the many
      prejudices that people have against Irish people (and which,
      incidentally, created a situation where the majority of English people
      never raised an eyelid as their governments tried out various tools of
      repression that would never have been allowed at home: forced
      relocation, starvation, plastic bullets, martial law, internment without
      trial, shoot-to-kill policies and a long etc).

      The point being that humour is all well and good when it is all well
      and good. When it involves ridiculing a minority it serves to establish
      and reinforce stereotypes and prejudices and often has an ulterior
      motive. You may not think that the two websites we're talking about do
      much harm, but they are offensive to some people. For that reason, they
      shouldn't be on an academic reading list. I'd hazard a guess that most
      of the people who roll round staffrooms laughing at them are the same
      sort of people who make a lot of derogatory comments about their
      students and who, deep down, feel some sort of cultural superiority over
      the people in their classroom; sense that while the foreign way of
      doing things is quaint or admirable, Britannia's way is best.

      Underlying the humour (and I don't deny that there is humour and that
      it is a well-designed site with good writing) is a contemptuous view of
      many things: teachers, the profession of EFL, students, etc. I see a
      direct link between descriptions of EFL teachers as a "squabbling bunch
      of drunken layabouts" and the fact that yesterday I interviewed a person
      who has ten years experience and an MA in EFL and is currently earning
      approximately £8 an hour (in the UK) and is only told on Friday what
      hours he will work the following week.

      I don't like comments about the superiority of English accents and how
      native speakers are superior to the majority of English teachers in the
      world who are not native speakers. I don't like the assumption that the
      best way of educating somebody is to establish a hierarchy wherein they
      are on the bottom rung.

      All of which makes me a boring left-wing radical who wouldn't know
      humour if it came up and shoved a red hot poker into the orifice that I
      speak out of. Sure. Whatever. A stereotype that neatly pigeonholes me
      and means that people don't have to listen or respond intelligently to
      what I have to say. Personally, I think that Simon Barnes does a great
      disservice to the EFL profession and that we'd be better off without his
      biting wit (or, alternatively, if he directed his acerbity at the
      employers who pay sh*t wages and offer sh*t conditions).


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