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not bad for an englishman

The Sandman 28 Sep 08 - 08:48 AM
Rog Peek 28 Sep 08 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,beachcomber 28 Sep 08 - 08:54 AM
kendall 28 Sep 08 - 09:28 AM
Betsy 28 Sep 08 - 09:32 AM
Ythanside 28 Sep 08 - 10:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Sep 08 - 11:39 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Sep 08 - 11:47 AM
Folkiedave 28 Sep 08 - 11:55 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Sep 08 - 01:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 08 - 01:49 PM
greg stephens 28 Sep 08 - 01:54 PM
The Sandman 28 Sep 08 - 05:41 PM
maeve 28 Sep 08 - 06:09 PM
Gurney 28 Sep 08 - 06:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 08 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 28 Sep 08 - 09:50 PM
Bert 28 Sep 08 - 10:27 PM
Anne Lister 29 Sep 08 - 02:37 AM
melodeonboy 29 Sep 08 - 02:56 AM
Mr Red 29 Sep 08 - 03:15 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 08 - 03:15 AM
MartinRyan 29 Sep 08 - 03:34 AM
julian morbihan 29 Sep 08 - 04:27 AM
The Sandman 29 Sep 08 - 04:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 08 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Betsy at Work 29 Sep 08 - 06:09 AM
gnu 29 Sep 08 - 06:15 AM
Banjiman 29 Sep 08 - 07:05 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 08 - 07:06 AM
MartinRyan 29 Sep 08 - 07:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Sep 08 - 07:31 AM
Mr Red 29 Sep 08 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,plastic cod'ead in the library 29 Sep 08 - 07:54 AM
The Sandman 29 Sep 08 - 07:58 AM
MartinRyan 29 Sep 08 - 08:03 AM
Zen 29 Sep 08 - 08:54 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 08 - 12:03 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 08 - 12:31 PM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 29 Sep 08 - 12:35 PM
Brian Peters 29 Sep 08 - 12:38 PM
Stu 29 Sep 08 - 12:38 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 08 - 02:00 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 08 - 02:12 PM
Banjiman 29 Sep 08 - 02:21 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 08 - 02:35 PM
Banjiman 29 Sep 08 - 02:52 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Sep 08 - 03:10 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 08 - 03:13 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 08 - 03:15 PM
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Subject: not bad for an englishman
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 08:48 AM

when I finished a gig last night,sat sep27,a woman approached me and said I was not a bad singer for an Englishman.
just wondered how Irish singers might feel,if someone came up to them in England,and said your not a bad singer for someone who is Irish.it seems aparticular problem for asmall minority of Irish people that they cant accept that English people can be musical,or have a musical tradition.
http://www.dickmiles.com
Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Rog Peek
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 08:52 AM

We regularly go set dancing when we are in Ireland. I have on a number of occasions been told I dance very well for an Englishman. I always take it as a compliment.

Rog


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 08:54 AM

Captain, is it within the bounds of possibility that the woman in question was merely having " a leg pull" ?


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: kendall
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 09:28 AM

That's a common sign of approval here.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Betsy
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 09:32 AM

Probably a nice opening line to engage you in a bit of conversation.
Don't read any deeper than that.

Cheers Betsy


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Ythanside
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 10:38 AM

A compliment, backhanded and perhaps grudgingly given, but definitely well meant.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 11:39 AM

Dick's question still stands though and it is perfectly valid -

just wondered how Irish singers might feel,if someone came up to them in England,and said your not a bad singer for someone who is Irish

It seems perfectly acceptable for anyone to take the piss out of the Englishman but when the tables are turned and the same Englishman makes similar remarks about [Insert name of your favourite minority here] then he is acused of racism, sexism, imperialism and too many other-isms to mention.

Would anyone care to set odds on how long the thread would last ad stay civil if I started one saying that Christy Moore wasn't too bad for an Irishman?

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 11:47 AM

As a nation we English took the piss out of everyone else for centuries. I think we can allow a little leeway on pisstaking back nowadays.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 11:55 AM

On a morris trip to Ireland we had occasion to go to a reception where prospective TD's were also campaigning.

One of the team had just written an article about the Irish political system at the time for a learned journal and the subject came up for discussion by accident.

"You're awfully well-educated for an an Englishman" he was told.

Steve is correct - we can accept a litte pisstaking occasionally. (As a morris dancer you get used to it anyway.

And we (Sheffield City Morris)are back in Kilkenny next weekend.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 01:39 PM

Of course we can allow a little piss taking back. It goes to prove that, while everyone else is over sensitive and insecure about their ethnicity, we are better than them.

Dave
(Running for the door...)


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 01:49 PM

The nature of the song and the style of singing might be relevant here.

After all, it'd be quite reasonable to make a similar comment to an Irish Morris Dancer who had demonstrated that he had mastered a foreign tradition.

But in any case ribbing people in this way is part of the way human beings relate to each other, and it is generally pretty inoffensive, except of course when it is meant to offend, or when it is particularly insensitive.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 01:54 PM

Not a bad thread for a concertina player.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 05:41 PM

no,with respect to all contributors.
The woman meant ,that she didnt think English people had any music in them.
I was there, I picked up her body language,the way she looked at me ,etc, etc.
I would never dream of going up to a welsh man,and saying that was not bad singing for a welsh man.
music is international,I have heard fine Japanese musicians playing Irish music,I would never say hey thats great music,considering your Japanese.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: maeve
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 06:09 PM

Consider this then: Perhaps your musical skill and courtesy have helped to revise her former opinion.

We humans can be mighty ignorant, but most of us do like to learn.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Gurney
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 06:12 PM

This sounds to me like a failure to apply the old adage;

'Please Engage Brain Before Operating Mouth!'

A system I regularly forget to employ. I only open my mouth to change feet, too.

Your best tactic would have been to thank her whilst laughing helplessly.
Were you perchance singing Irish songs? I have friends who are not fond of my singing 'their' songs in a faux accent. I thought I was entertaining them, but I found I was irritating them!


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 06:18 PM

The woman meant ,that she didnt think English people had any music in them.

Or perhaps she was thinking that English people often seem to have a considerable resistance to letting the music they have in them get out. Which, I would say, seems to be unfortunately true.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 09:50 PM

Have quoted this before, but it bears repeating.

After one gig, an audient(?) said
"That was almost worth getting out of bed for"

(It was the "Almost" that got me!)


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Bert
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 10:27 PM

...I have friends who are not fond of my singing 'their' songs in a faux accent...


I had an Irish friend who told me that "You don't need an accent to sing a song"


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Anne Lister
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 02:37 AM

I've frequently been told that I must be Irish, or that there must be Irish in my ancestry, because of my singing and songwriting.   I take these comments as huge compliments. Most bizarrely, having had the conversation to explain that there is in fact no trace of Irish in my family tree, I was told that in that case "in a past life you must have been Irish".
Probably a fair cop, guv ....
But Dick, the only reasonable response to your experience is to assume she just hadn't met many English people and still fewer who were in any way performers of music. It happens!

Anne


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: melodeonboy
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 02:56 AM

'I had an Irish friend who told me that "You don't need an accent to sing a song"'

Mmmm.... How do you sing a song without an accent?

****************************************************************

"Or perhaps she was thinking that English people often seem to have a considerable resistance to letting the music they have in them get out. Which, I would say, seems to be unfortunately true."

Spot-on, that man!


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 03:15 AM

Cap'n Birdsong

People who want to thank you don't always prepare. It is genuine emotion.

I can remember a lady telling me (after) she hadn't heard my "Kinittershanty" for 6 years. Which from a professional (Folk Animatuer) was amusing and rewarding. We (Lucy was with me at the time) had only written it 3 years before! It told me that the song had a patina way beyond it's youth, which gave us a nice feeling. And I couldn't dis-abuse her.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 03:15 AM

I would say she was making a joke - it often happens in Ireland.
Sensitivity about remarks on your singing don't bode well for your entering competitions Cap'n!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 03:34 AM

For "making a joke", read "slaggin'"! Ranging in level from gentle mockery to barbed, satirical put-down , it's endemic in Ireland. Probably best read as a backhanded compliment, as suggested earlier.

Regards


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: julian morbihan
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 04:27 AM

We now live in southern Brittany and perform with Breton group. We regularly get surprised comments because we are English!

We take them all as compliments. The nicest I received, from a memeber of another dance group, is that I am "un grand breton de Grande Bretagne" :-)

Salut

Julian


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 04:38 AM

some of these comments are illogical.
the fact is no one goes up to Christy Moore,or any other irish singer,and says not bad for an Irishman.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 04:52 AM

Exactly, Dick. As I said earlier, if anyone had said that I don't think there would have been one apologist. It would have been very firmly a case of English racism, imperialism or hatred. The sayer of said line would have been rounded upon firmly by many people here and I suspect the thread would have either degenrated into one about 'Bastard Brits' or it would have been closed. I am not going to venture to say why this is.

BTW - For anyone that doesn't know - I was born and bred in England but I am of mixed parentage. Which I guess makes me a true Englishman:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: GUEST,Betsy at Work
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 06:09 AM

(Was the gig in Ireland, or does that make any difference?)
"...a woman approached me and said I was not a bad singer for an Englishman ".
Your riposte should have been "I'm not bad between the sheets either - fancy getting your kit off?".

If it was in Ireland, let it drop, there's no mileage in this for an English singer, who
(I understand ) does a fair amount of bookings over there.
I can't believe there was any harm meant, it's just backhanded compliment as someone I think has already said.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: gnu
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 06:15 AM

Whenever someone said I was not a bad "whatever", I took it as a compliment.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Banjiman
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 07:05 AM

Dick,

You can choose to be offended if you like.....or you can choose to just to laugh it off. It really is up to you.

I think the latter is probably more constructive though.

Paul


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 07:06 AM

"It would have been very firmly a case of English racism,"
If you want to take the remark seriously you could put it down to us "t'ick Paddies" getting our own back for the 800-years worth of crap we've had thrown at us.
On the other hand - you could, as Martin suggests, take it as it was almost certainly meant - a bit of 'slaggin'"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 07:21 AM

Many years ago, I was at a conference in the North of England during the height of the IRA terrorist campaign. One (mild) symptom of English reaction was the proliferation of "Irish jokes" (and Yes - I do know they've been around a long time!). Anyway, one of the ever polite conference attendees asked me what Irish people did about "these dreadful "Irish" jokes". "They tell them about Kerrymen!" sez I. "And what do the Kerrymen do?" said one. "They put them in books and sell them to Englishmen!", said I.

Now that's slaggin'!

Regards


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 07:31 AM

could have been worse

could have said, bad even for an Englishman.

I sort of agree with Dick on this one though. theres a statute of limitations on the crimes of the British Empire - and anyway he wasn't personally responsible for Rourkes Drift, Drogheda, the suppression of the Indian Mutiny and Frank Carson's act.

Having said that. i always used to teach my guitar students. Its not a six out of ten instrument. Piano players get six out of ten and they pass an exam and get a cetificate. Make a mistake as a guitarist and everyone will say you're shit. Goes with the territory.

When you are an entertainer - part of the job is that you put your head above the parapet and open youself to criticism. Still its a braver and better thing to try and be than some snotty little excuse for humanity who tries to discomfort you with an untoward remark after you've put in the best performance you can.

hang in there, and bollocks to 'em!


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 07:33 AM

Now long before the "Irish" (aka Polac etc) joke became fashionable we Blackcountry folk used to tell them about Enoch and Eli who were Blackcountrymen through and through but had no specific geographical affiliations.

And Enoch dain't get the thick end of it allers.
So we wus perlitical korrecked fust. OK?

Mind you in common with the many nearby villages in the UK, Darlaston used to refer to Willenhall in terms of "putting the pig on the wall to see the band go by" - so we wus being ironikul, yea?


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: GUEST,plastic cod'ead in the library
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 07:54 AM

I was busking in Galway once and some fella called me a black and tan and said I shouldn't be singing Irish songs if I was an Englishman. I informed him I was actually singing Weel may the keelrow at the time!
"Oh" said he.
"Yes" said I, "I'm singing English songs"

"OK" said he pausing..."Well you shouldnt be singing them here should ya!"

he was a bit mad like


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 07:58 AM

I am not offended,I am merely pointing out the illogicality,of it being ok to say this to an Englishman,but not to an Irishman.
Jim Carroll,would be the first to condemn[and rightly so],if I turned round to a traveller,and said not bad singing for a traveller,or used the term many Irish people use for travellers ,not bad for a knacker.
now, do you get my point.
Some Irish people need to examine,their attitude to travellers,Englishmen,and groups different to themselves[be it nationality or lifestyle e g travellers].


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 08:03 AM

Ireland has recently had its first case of a complaint of racist treatment of an English worker in the workplace, upheld.

Regards


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Zen
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 08:54 AM

There are ignorant people everywhere. If she wasn't having a joke then I would just brush it off. As an Irishman with an English accent (I was brought up in London) I've had this occasionally from both sides but it says more about the odd individual than the very great majority of English and Irish people generally.

Zen


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 12:03 PM

Jim

If you want to take the remark seriously you could put it down to us "t'ick Paddies" getting our own back for the 800-years worth of crap we've had thrown at us.

I'm half Polish. I have never tried to get my own back by telling American jokes. Do you tell thick Englishman jokes to get your own back? Stop it with the whitewash.

Seeing as lots of people seem to be missing the point let me ask a few questions.

Is it OK to say that Noel Hill plays concertina OK for an Irishman?
Is it OK to say Jimi Hendrix was a good guitarist for a black man?
Is it OK to say Yehudi Menuhin plays a mean fiddle for a Jew?
Is it OK to say Dick Miles is a good singer for an Englishman?

Think about it.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 12:31 PM

Dave,
It's the kind of remark that can be heard at our local session virtually every week - from all sides - I'm sure Dick has lived in Ireland long enough to be aware of that.
The list you gave surely depends on the circumstances in which the remark is made.
If he had overheard it being made behind his back he might have a reason to react like 'Outraged from Ballydehob'; as it is, as far as I'm concerned 'political correctness gone mad or what???'
There was a time when the political situation was such that the remark might well have caused offence - Nowadays there are enough Brits who have settled here in Ireland to make it unnecessary to tip-toe around each other - if not - I'm back to London on the next Ryanair flight.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 12:35 PM

Cap`n,
       I trust all the responses put your mind at rest that you were being appreciated and congratulated on your performance; a bigger concern is "Who are the loony, politically confused, over-paid, redundant public servants, in need of counselling who decide that every other nationality may be used to describe the status of the respondent on forms, applications and census details except "ENGLISH". One despairs!

p.s. What does one have to do to get your text on here in italics?


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 12:38 PM

I think this is more to do with the fact that many other nationalities, particularly our nearest neighbours, perceive the English as being an uncultured people with no regard for our own musical traditions. If someone said this to me I'd take it as a compliment, subject to the tone in which it was said.


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Stu
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 12:38 PM

Spot on Dave.

"Do you tell thick Englishman jokes to get your own back?"

The bodhran player from Danu does on the DVD 'One Night Stand'. It reminded me of the lyric in 'Nothing but the Same Old Story'. Ho well, what goes around comes around and what we hate we become (cliché-tastic). I wondered about what it would have been like to be in the audience in Dublin that night, because if I'd been to see an English band and they made an Irish joke I'd be pretty disappointed.

"If you want to take the remark seriously you could put it down to us "t'ick Paddies" getting our own back for the 800-years worth of crap we've had thrown at us."

That's all right then. Haven't we moved on from all this shite? Not everyone in England thinks those 800 years were really our finest hour. What a truly fucked-up bunch of small-minded little Islanders we all are. I'm off to Ireland next year to pick up new bouzouki - here's hoping I don't bump into the racists. Nothing but happy memories of all my visits so far, so I'm looking forward to it, but I might avoid playing my bouzouki until I get back here, where English can play the Irish music they love so much without fear of comment . . .


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 02:00 PM

Jim

It's the kind of remark that can be heard at our local session virtually every week - from all sides

If I ever turn up at a session and they start to make racist comments I will leave. May make some people think I am either intollerant or oversensitive but I am neither. I just will not put up with racism in any form.

The list you gave surely depends on the circumstances in which the remark is made.

No it doesn't. Each of those comments contains potential to hurt someone.

Remember the Black and White minstrel show? It may have been 'just a bit of fun' for us white middle classes but it was extremely offensive to many blacks.

Where do we draw the line? Easy. NO racism is acceptable however it is meant.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 02:12 PM

BTW - In case anyone had not figured it out the following conclusions can be drawn from the statements I made

1 - Irishmen cannot play concertina
2 - Black men cannot play rock guitar
3 - A Jew cannot play the violin and
4 - Englismen cannot sing.

Every single one of them is not only incorrect but is racial stereotyping with the purpose of getting a cheap laugh.

Can someone tell me please when that is EVER acceptable?

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Banjiman
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 02:21 PM

If the person who it is aimed at is not offended maybe?

As an English person (note the political correctness!) I would not have been offended by the comment made to Dick if it were aimed at me.....I would laugh.

However I wouldn't use the other phrases you list (way) above..... unless I knew the other wouldn't be offended, i.e. I knew the person extremely well.

Choose your own position on this one really.....


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 02:35 PM

Bernard Manning used to aim his jokes at people he hoped would not be offended. He often got it wrong. I would say, over and over, if it can offend, someone will take offence at it.

I am not saying that I find it offensive or that offensive material should be banned or any such. That is not the point. Just saying that people should realise that comments that may offend should not be treated lightly.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Banjiman
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 02:52 PM

Dave, I was careful what I said.... I said when the person IS not offended....not when you hope they won't be offended. Big difference.

Paul


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 03:10 PM

I really think some of you have gone way over the top on this one.
We have lived here for ten years and have been visiting the area for nearly forty.
We came here right through the worst of the troubles, saw the black flags hanging out in the street when the hunger strikers were dying, and spent time at Mullabawn with that huge monstrosity of a watchtower looming over the town and the British helicopters monitoring the activities of the householders with their surveillance equipment. Never once throughout that time have we ever felt anything other than welcome.
What the Cap'n described was banter - pure and simple.
Personally, I regard such comments (and the freedom I have to make them myself) as an acknowledgment that we are part of the community and would be extremely unhappy if we were left out of it.
I can imagine that if I felt in any way insecure and less than welcome living here I might take offence at what was said - as it is, I feel completely at home.
Who knows, maybe things are different in his part of the world, but I'm afraid the phrase 'fart in a thunderstorm' keeps creeping into my mind!
Must go - have a session to attend in town
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 03:13 PM

You did indeed, Paul. My apologies.

Makes it even more important that people don't use such phrases though doesn't it. Can we be ceratin what the listeners reaction is all the time? Or even who is listening? Can I ask again then. When are such phrases acceptable?

Dave


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Subject: RE: not bad for an englishman
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 03:15 PM

Whitewash again, Jim. You are avoiding the question. When is it acceptable to use racial stereotyping to get a laugh?

Cheers

Dave


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