[linux-elitists] Introducing Myself

Rich Bodo rsb@ostel.com
Mon Jan 12 17:02:27 PST 2004

> Alright you crackers, get back to work.  :-)

Soul cracker number one, back to work, sir!  Too bad most people never
get to be part of a group that completely changes these words around.
I had a great experience that I have to relate:

Some of the most hilarious conversations I have ever heard were in the
Marine Corps between units from Atlanta (GA) and Pico Rivera (CA).
Imagine two groups of people trying to say, "Fuck you, fuckin'
fuckers" in english so different they could not understand each other
one whit (whit isn't a slur, these days, is it?).  The speed
differrence was amazing as well.  Inevitably negotiations broke down
into either fistfights or fits of laughter.  The really cool thing
about the San Francisco unit (my unit) was that racial slurs were so
common and so accepted that we would just laugh at the Georgia/LA
units, drink their beer "pass the tap, jew boy.  fuck, yeah
toe-kisser", and enjoy the show.

It's really cool when slurs lose their original meaning and become
kind of affectionate.  The slur issue became a total non-issue; we
just did away with any serious meaning of the words.  Unfortunately,
"pass the fucking potatoes" syndrome makes the transition back to the
everyday world a little uncomfortable.  I could never take a racial
slur seriously again, no matter how serious the delivery.

I saw this in highly integrated, tight units.  There is a very strong
correlation, at least in that venue, between integration and
tolerance.  Intolerant, thin-skinned units, were kind of sad and
funny, and often hard to take seriously.  I also think the system we
had spread to Pico and Atlanta somewhat after a few months with them.
Anyway, there are places where this will just never be a problem.


Rich Bodo | rsb@ostel.com | 650-964-4678

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