Best of the Week
of April 18, 2004

Best of Week ArchivesArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advancedduringthe week of April 18, 2004, as selected by Y? These postings, as wellas "Bestof the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessingY?'sdatabase using the search form, or, in the case of posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the database as well).Inthe Original Archives, as well as in the database, you will find questionsthathave received answers, as well as questions still awaiting responses.Youare encouraged to answer any questions relevant to your demographic background,aswell as to ask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted arenotnecessarily meant to represent the views of anentire demographic group,butcan provide a window into the insights of an individual from that group.
 First-time users should first make a quick stop at Y?'s guidelines pages for asking and answering questions.

 


Question:

I live in a suburban area just outside of Washington D.C., in Maryland.Iconstantly hear that there was substantial 'white flight' in the past assuccessfulblacks moved in. Now the trend is reversing, and whenever I seea white facein the grocery store or on the bus in a black neighborhood,I think, 'Whatare you doing here? I thought white people didn't want tolive among us blacksand immigrants. And when a white homeless person asksme for money, I think,'I thought white people would never beg black peoplefor anything. I thoughtyou looked down on us too much for that.' I knowmy way of thinking is bad.What can people tell me to help me correct it?
POSTED 4/20/2004
Bella,Washington, DC, United States, 32, Female, Christian, Afro-Caribbean,Immigrant,Straight, Administrative Assistant, Technical School, Middle class,Mesg ID415200414231

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Question:

It seems as if a woman is blond, she is automatically beautiful. Ihave heardwhite males describe a 'hot chick' as follows: 'I saw this girl,man she wasbeautiful - you know, blond...' Then others would nod in agreementas if nofurther explanation was necessary. Can someone please explain this?
POSTED 1/13/2004
Julie, Woodbridge, VA, United States, Female, Christian, Black/African American,Straight,Gov't Contracting, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middle class,Mesg ID 19200465223


Responses:

I think when white men are together talking about 'hot chicks,' a mentalpictureis needed. Saying 'Blonde' automatically produces an image.of a bustywomanwith long yellow hair and crystal blue eyes. It becomes a 'say no more,weknow what you are talking about' type of thing. White men have to go intomoredetail when talking about other women, though.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Eric, Heidelberg, NA, Germany, 27, Male, White/Caucasian, U.S. Army, 2 Yearsof College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 417200413237

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Question:

I am Italian-American. I find it weird how everybody I have ever metwho isIrish has a problem with me. I also know many Italians who have aproblemwith Irish people. Does anyone know how this hatred came to be? Ihave hearda lot of stories, but many of them are just blaming the problemon the otherculture.
POSTED 2/15/2004
Franchesca, Philadelphia, PA, United States,18, Female, Catholic, Italian-American,Straight, Student, Less than HighSchool Diploma, Lower middle class, MesgID 25200455857


Responses:

I'm an American of Irish descent and was totally blown away by your posting.I’venever heard of this before! My mother is from Belleville N.J., whichhad avery high mix of Irish and Italians, though I don't know if it stilldoesbecause she moved 22 years ago. Mom dated a couple of Italian guys inherhigh school and there were always Italian men trying to set such a 'nicelittleCatholic girl' up with their grandsons. My three dearest friends areItalian-Americansand we get along great. In fact, one gal's other best friendis also Irish.We've commented on numerous occasions that there are manysimilarities betweenthe two groups, and when we go to the other's familyfunctions, there arenever any problems. Aside from my being deathly paleand her being fairlydark, she swears I am her long-lost cousin! Maybe ithas to do with WorldCup Soccer rivalry?
POSTED 4/20/2004
Erin, Tampa Bay area, FL, UnitedStates, 22, Female, Christian, Straight,4 Years of College, Lower middleclass, Mesg ID 415200425121

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Question:

I have noticed quite a few surplused cop cars on the road, and it seemslikeall of them are driven by 20- to 40-year-old black males. The majorityofthe vehicles are in the poorer neighborhoods. Why are these cars predominantlydrivenby blacks?
POSTED 1/4/2004
Marc M., Jacksonville, FL, United States,33, Male, Catholic, White/Caucasian,Straight, Manager, 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 1028200395809


Responses:

If you think they're trying to imitate a cop, they're not. Generally,themen of this age happen to like the body style of those cars. I can'tspeakof it as a fact, because I'm not a black man nor a driver of one ofthosecars.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Tasha, Houston, TX, United States, 23, Female,Baptist, Black/African American,Straight, student, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 1182004102221



Much like white males liketo put huge tires on pickup trucks or turn a Mustanginto a hotrod, youngblack males, particularly in the South, prefer the '70sand '80s full-sizeAmerican cars. They are easily affordable, and easy towork on and customize.So you can look at it as a cultural thing, not a racialor economic issue.There are many young white kids and middle-to-upper-classblacks customizingthese cars, too. I must say I have seen some very niceones.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Torrey, Columbia, MS, United States, <jokeesmurf@msn.com>, 28, Male,Baptist,Black/African American, Straight, Military, 4 Years of College,Middle class,Mesg ID 22200440613

Because black people are poor they buythese cars, because they can't affordan SUV like you, a**hole. I am whiteand drive one, too, because I am poor.I live on Twinkies for the same reason.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Frumpy anus, Belmar, NJ, United States, 29, Male, hate religion, White/Caucasian,Straight,unemployed, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 28200451836

Because it looks intimidating to other black folks.
POSTED 4/20/2004

Here it is: These 'cop cars' (Caprice Classics, Lincolns and the like) areusedautomobiles that the police forces put on sale at a very reduced rate,dueto the great deal of wear and tear on them because of the demands ofpoliceofficers. I used to be an auto mechanic, and the transmissions ofthese vehiclesare usually stretched to be breaking point. These cars canbe dirt cheap,and law enforcement can write them off, so young people, notblack people,can purchase them as first cars. (There is some irony to it,which I won'tgo into.) This isn't a race thing. I am from the Detroit area,and you cansee old cop cars everywhere
POSTED 4/20/2004
Cheronda, Twin Lake, MI,United States, <cherondap@hotmail.com>, 30,Female, Baptist, Black/AfricanAmerican, Straight, Data Entry, 2 Years ofCollege, Mesg ID 215200474651

Police cars are usually very cheap when they sell them around here, usuallywith200,000+ miles on them. How many white, middle class suburbanites wanta carlike that when they can finance one? Besides, statistically it's easierforwhites to get financing than blacks, so that probably sums it up, too.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Dave, San Diego, CA, United States, 23, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight,ComputerTech, 2 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 217200473711

Government property is auctioned off at the highest bid. A cop car with apowerfulengine, 100,000-plus miles on it and in good shape that goes for$3,000 definitelybeats paying $20 K or more for new car For a low-incomeperson, you have totake what you can get.
POSTED 4/20/2004
C., Pontaic, MI, United States, Mesg ID 419200455909

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Question:

Why do some older people have no respect for anyone, yet want all therespectin the world just for being elderly? I was in the store today andthe olderwoman in front of me was being such a crab to the cashier. So,being me, Iasked her, haven't you learned some respect in your years? Andshe said, 'Excuseme, I'm 72 years old, I deserve some respect.' So I said,'Excuse me, I'm22, and I have to earn mine.' She didn't say anything. This is a common phenomenon.Why do older people feel this way?
POSTED 4/12/2004
Phillip, OrangeCity, FL, United States, 22, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight,Irrigation Contractor,High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 3282004102423


Responses:

Old people in general are grumpy and rude. I've always wondered why theyfeeleveryone ought to walk on eggshells to accommodate them but are belligerentANDobnoxious to everyone else. I treat everyone - kids and the elderly -withequal respect.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Jay, New York, NY, United States, Mesg ID 414200475025



Like my grandmother used to say: 'There's no fool like an old fool'. I heardhersay this when she was up in her 90s. So the fact that she recognizedand appliedthis observation to people in her own age group tells you thatnot all elderlypeople are that way. However, too many, it seems, are. Ithink when peopleretire and suddenly find they have too much time on theirhands, they forgetwhat it was like to have to deal with all the stressespeople in the work-a-dayworld, like that cashier, have to deal with everyday. In a sense, they tendto lose touch with reality, and all of a sudden,things like going to thestore become the most important thing in their livesand they act accordingly.I think it's great that you called her on it. Nottoo many people would have,and because they don't get called on that typeof behavior, they think itmust be all right. In reality, you or I mightact that way, too, if someonedidn't point out that it's wrong. But the elderlytoo often are allowed apass out of respect or some other reason.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Joe B.,Louisville, KY, United States, 46, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight,2 Yearsof College, Middle class, Mesg ID 415200440945

I work in anursing home that's chock-full of elderly people. Rarely willone of thesepatients say 'please' or 'thank you.' Usually they make demandssuch as 'Giveme a drink of water!' or 'Hand me the remote control.' Manyof these peopleare in their right frame of mind, and some even resort tohitting, spittingor smacking the employees who are there to take care ofthem. If you don'tbelieve me, just ask anyone who works in my field. Maybethere's someone atY? Forum who can verify this. I'm so frustrated that I'mconsidering findinganother occupation, and I'll NEVER help an old lady acrossthe street again!
POSTED 4/20/2004
MsJacquelle, Louisville, KY, United States, Female, Nurse, Mesg ID 419200473223

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Question:

Today I was at the gym, working out, and waiting for the arm bike,which wasbeing used by a man in a wheelchair. This machine has a 15-minutetime limiton it, and I waited my 15 minutes and he was still going. I walkedby andsaw that he had been on for 28 minutes. I busied myself on anothermachine,but finally I asked if he was almost done. He said no, that it isthe onlymachine there he can use, and seemed offended I asked him aboutit. ShouldI have complained to management? Or should I have not said anything?He gotoff about 5 minutes later and I was able to use it.
POSTED 4/12/2004
Cherry, Flushing, MI, United States, 18, Female, Agnostic, mixed race, Straight,student,High School Diploma, Middle class, Mesg ID 12302002103117


Responses:

You were perfectly justified in saying something - he was being rude andinconsiderate.There was a limit on the machine and he exceeded it - if hedoesn't like it,he ought to complain to management. Maybe you should suggestto managementthat they either get more of the machines or put a sign infront of it alertinggym members to the time limit - or even have a sign-upsheet.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Jay, New York, NY, United States, Mesg ID 414200480416

Yes, you should have said something to management. Just because this personhada disability, that does not give him the right to not abide by the clubstandardsand rules. At the least he could have asked you for a few moreminutes, orshould have realized that others would like to use the machineand shouldhave taken a break himself. What do you think he would have doneif you parkedin a handicapped parking spot outside the club, and then yousaid to 'Hi,that was the last spot available"? You would have a ticket,and he would beupset that you took his spot.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Patrick, n/a, CA, UnitedStates, <patrick1usa@yahoo.com>, 41, Male,Baptist, White/Caucasian,Straight, Technical School, Middle class, MesgID 417200472235

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Question:

I suppress all of my emotions to a great degree. I haven't cried inthe last5 years, don't express my anger, and rarely express any emotionin a significantway. I probably do this so I cannot be hurt or cannot hurtothers. Is thiscommon?
POSTED 4/12/2004
Josh, Arcata, CA, United States, <ueberyak@hotmail.com>,25, Male,Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, Cook, 2 Years of College, Lowerclass,Mesg ID 210200321921


Responses:

I believethat suppressing emotions is very common. The question is: Isthis a goodthing? No. If you suppress your emotions, the pain, anger, fearor whateverwill be internalized and expressed in a different way. I willstifle reactionssometimes so I won't offend or rock the boat. ConsequentlyI will get a soreneck, back pain, heartburn, gastric distress or even afull-blown stress attack.I was under a great deal of stress recently, andinstead of dealing with it,I just pretended everything was fine. That nightmy heart raced and poundedfor 30 minutes. I made my husband get up and checkmy blood pressure. (Hehas a blood pressure monitor.)
Sometimes, there could be another reasonpeople are not expressing emotions.Are you under medication? I know thatsome antidepressants could have thiskind of effect. Why don't you discussthis with your physician or someoneyou respect and trust?
POSTED 4/20/2004
Annie, Atlanta, GA, United States, 52, Female, Christian, White/Caucasian,Straight,Copy Editor, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 413200495039

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Question:

What encourages people to be porn actors or actresses? Do they feelpleasuredoing that? How does a woman feel when facing the fact that shewill be totallyexposed and considered as a toy for guys, other women orgroups? For thosewho have done this, if they could change their lives, wouldthey?
POSTED 4/12/2004
Azucena, London, NA, United Kingdom, <chacalita_satirina@hotmail.com>,30,Female, Catholic, Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Straight, student,Over4 Years of College, Upper middle class, Mesg ID 43200441524


Responses:

I can't tell you about the female point of view, but for guys, it's prettymuchwhat you may have already guessed. Most guys see it as the opportunitytohave sex with gorgeous women and get paid for it, too. Most guys you seein'professional' porn are well-endowed and don't have a problem being exposedonfilm for all to see. This is important for people to know, because a lotofyounger people think these guys are of normal size. They are not. Justasnot all women are as big-breasted as porn stars, not all guys are as well-endowedasmale porn stars. As for feeling pleasure, it's very exciting at first,butafter a while it becomes a little bit of a chore to 'perform on demand'.Thisis why porn films will have fluffers. Fluffers are women who arousethe guysbefore they have to appear on camera. As for the money issue, the femalesare paid much more than the guys. Obviously it's easier to recruitguys todo porn than women. All you basically have to say is, 'free sex',and they'rethere.
POSTED 4/20/2004
Taz, Detroit, MI, United States, 32, Male, Straight, Mesg ID 413200475835

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