Best of the Week
of July 9, 2000

Best of Week Archives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchanges either begun or advanced during the week of July 9, 2000, as selected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entries from previous weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s new database using the search form, or, in the case of answers posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questions from the Original Archives have been entered into the new database as well). In the Original Archives and the new database, you will find questions that have received answers, as well as questions still awaiting responses. You are encouraged to answer any questions relevant to your demographic background, as well as to ask any provocative question you desire. Answers posted are not necessarily meant to represent the views of an entire demographic group, but can provide a window into the insights of an individual from that group.

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Question:
How do other big women handle nasty comments made about their weight in public? I have had men (and it has always been men) call out 'fat bitch' to me on the street, and other nasty, crude comments. Most people's advice is 'just ignore it, just don't let it bother you.' That's easy to say when you're not the one who gets called a 'fat bitch' in public. And to men who do this sort of thing, do you have any understanding of how humiliating and hurtful being treated like this is?
POSTED 7/14/2000
Jenny, Wellington, NA, New Zealand, 35, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Librarian, Technical School, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 7122000122057

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Question:
Why does it seem that many white people don't understand that blacks in America are the only race of people who were stripped of religion, culture and heritage? Or that we were forced into adopting their way of living? Or how frustrating it is to not know our ancestory and where in Africa we come from? White people can trace their geneology, but when blacks try, the furthest we ever get back to is the slaveship. Can a white person explain to me why he or she may never have thought, "Maybe this is why blacks in America have so much hate inside"?
POSTED 7/14/2000
MIke A., Brooklyn, NY, United States, 25, Male, Black/African American, Straight, college student, 4 Years of College , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 7122000115632

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Question:
If God played poker, who would win in a game between God or the Devil? Why?
POSTED 7/10/2000
Patrick W., Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 19, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, Research Assistant, High School Diploma , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 7102000113253

Responses:
I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you mean: does God have control over vices? I am an agnostic as well, so I won't try to answer the question.
POSTED 7/11/2000
Priscilla, Sydney, NA, Australia, 23, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Bisexual, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 711200072916

First, John 4:24 states that, 'God is a Spirit...'. The Bible also refers to God as 'holy,' so please don't reduce Him to man's standards. Second, God is also omnipotent (all powerful) and has control over every aspect of the universe, including the devil. This means that the devil can do only what God permits him to do. In the book of Job, God allowed the devil to disrupt Job's life. In the end, it was meant to show the devil that Job feared and loved God above all else: his family, his possessions, his friends, and even his life.
POSTED 7/12/2000
Redeemed 1, Newport News, VA, United States, 52, Female, Baptist, Straight, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 7122000104308

God would win, because he, she, it, is God, omnicient and omnipotent.
POSTED 7/12/2000
Karsten F., Gretna, LA, United States, Mesg ID 712200030748

To Priscilla: What I meant to ask was whether you thought that God, by playing honestly and given his 'character,' would win against the Devil, who would attempt to win by any means at his disposal. Essentially, I am pitting two opponents of diametrically opposite moral alignments in a game of poker, and then asking you to determine who would win, Good or Evil. God's supposed omnipotence is not to be a factor.
POSTED 7/12/2000
Patrick W., Toronto, Ontario, NA, Canada, 19, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, High School Diploma , Upper middle class, Mesg ID 712200093700
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Question:
Every time my sister and I have a fight, she calls me a pine needle because I am skinny. It hurts my feelings when she says that, so I call her fat. I get in trouble for that, but no one yells at her. So how can I get her to stop saying I'm as skinny as a pine needle?
POSTED 7/10/2000
Kay, Bridgewater, MA, United States, 13, Female, no religion, White/Caucasian, Straight, none, student, Less than High School Diploma, Mesg ID 7102000113915

Responses:
In our society, being thin is considered attractive, whereas being fat is not. So when your sister calls you a pine needle, it is not considered as much of an insult as when you call her fat. This does not mean it is OK for her to insult you or that it doesn't hurt when she does, but it might explain why you get in trouble and she doesn't. I think the best thing for you to do is sit down with your sister and parents - when you are not fighting - and talk about it. Tell them how it makes you feel when your sister calls you a pine needle, and when you get in trouble for throwing insuLts and she doesn't. If you approach the situation calmly and rationally, you will probably get some good results. It's natural to fight with your sister, but keep in mind that she is probably the person most likely to stick by you throughout your life.
POSTED 7/10/2000
Lucy H., San Jose, CA, United States, 25, Female, Hispanic/Latino, Engineer, 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 710200024354
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Question:
I notice that in the school where I work, many of the female students make a sort of sucking/smacking sound with their lips, out of the side of the mouth, while turning their head and rolling their eyes, when they're told or encounter something they don't like. It's sort of a variation of 'tut-tut,' but much more expressive. I wonder if anybody knows how this originated or if it means or reflects anything specific, and why it's just the girls who do it.
POSTED 7/10/2000
Jeremy, Columbus, OH, United States, 26, Male, White/Caucasian, Straight, student, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 710200034006
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Question:
I have a black friend who says he thinks the oddest "white folks" food is peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. Are there any other odd foods black people find especially associated with white people?
POSTED 7/7/2000
George G., Los Angeles, CA, United States, 68, Male, Atheist, White/Caucasian, Straight, likes peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, Writer, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 76200044618

Responses:
I always thought peanut butter and banana sandwiches were a black or Southern food. I'm African-American, and I loved the ones my mother from Mississippi would make when I was growing up. Raw oysters - now THAT'S an odd white folks food.
POSTED 7/8/2000
Barb, Atlanta, GA, United States, Female, Black/African American, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 772000103308

I'm originally from New Jersey (by the shore) and I love raw oysters. I must admit, it is an acquired taste. If you can get past the gritty, slimy taste, they're actually pretty good.
POSTED 7/10/2000
John A., Charlotte, NC, United States, <bigsicky@msn.com>, 29, Male, Baptist, Black/African American, Straight, Office Asst., Over 4 Years of College , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 7102000111100
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Question:
I have a few gay friends who sometimes joke about "twinks." What does this term refer to?
POSTED 7/7/2000
Nina, Albany, NY, United States, 22, Female, Atheist, student, 2 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 76200091202

Responses:
A 'twink' is someone young. Perhaps the joke was about an older person trying to look/act ridiculously young? Or about an older person who 'acts like a twink' but should demonstrate more maturity?
POSTED 7/10/2000
Paul, San Antonio, TX, United States, Male, Mesg ID 710200025549

"Twinks" or "Twinkies" is an affection gay term for very young, cute guys.
POSTED 7/11/2000
Roger D., New York City, NY, United States, Male, Pagan, White/Caucasian, Gay, Graphic Designer, Over 4 Years of College, Mesg ID 710200064005

Twinks, or twinkies, refer to the teenage gay guys. "Chicken" is a common term for them, also. Some see it as derogatory, and it can be used that way, but the group I hang with includes us old 'queens' and lots of 'twinks,' and we all use the terms with a sense of humor.
POSTED 7/11/2000
Mark B., Dallas, TX, United States, <civic-si@swbell.net>, 39, Male, Christian, White/Caucasian, Gay, Financial Analyst, 2 Years of College , Lower middle class, Mesg ID 77200091251

The word 'twink' refers to, at least in my experience, a very young (think college-age) gay male. Sometimes I've heard this word used to describe attractive, buff young men (like the VERY young frat boys you find at the gym), but typically when someone says 'twink,' it can be read to mean 'body by Nautilus, brains by Mattel' - i.e. the boy's clueless but otherwise fun to fool around with.
POSTED 7/11/2000
T.C., Phoenix, AZ, United States, <tony_crumpton@hotmail.com>, 32, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Gay, Web Developer, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 772000120439
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Question:
When white people start doing something black people have always been doing, why does it then become mainstream, the greatest phenomenon, etc.? Past example: Elvis. Present: N'Sync, Britany Spears, etc. Why do white people reward their people more when they do something black people do?
POSTED 7/7/2000
Dawn, Greenville, NC, United States, 22, Female, Black/African American, 2 Years of College, Mesg ID 76200095523

Responses:
I will definitely agree that blacks have had a major influence in singing and dancing, but when you say that white people who do these 'black things' (which I don't believe are necessarily 'black things') are being rewarded more than black people, I just don't agree. I think it has more to do with who's raking in the bucks for the record companies. The fact is that kids (who tend to follow the trends) have a huge say in the popularity of performance artists. Whatever is the current trend basically decides their opinions. The whole teen thing is just the trend now. Keep in mind, though, that there was a time when Michael Jackson (back when he was black, that is) was on every teenage girl's wall. And Prince. And New Edition. And Menudo! I don't think it's a constant of white rewards, but rather a change in trends. Bubblegum, pop-singing, dancing white kids are the thing right now. This, too, shall pass.
POSTED 7/11/2000
Danielle, Forked River, NJ, United States, 25, Female, White/Caucasian, Systems Analyst, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 772000100456

I guess it would be the same thing as when men wash the dishes or do something that ordinarily is looked upon as a 'woman's' job, women tend to make a big deal about it, thanking them, remarking on how nice it was. But very rarely do women get the same type of kudos for doing the same job; it's just expected of them. Perhaps we expect certain things from different groups of people, and only when someone different makes a special effort or takes it on do we notice it.
POSTED 7/11/2000
Alicia M., Klamath, CA, United States, 44, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight, counselor, Over 4 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 772000112515

Black people started Rock n' Roll. Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and even back to the turn of the 19th/20th Century, argue some historians, the African-American community had full reign of rock. Back in the 1950s in Memphis, Sun Records was one of the few recording studios that would allow black people to record their music and market it to radio stations and record stores. Then Elvis came along: He was white, yet he sounded black. Now kids didn't have to secretly listen to black music on the radio behind their parents' backs: they could freely listen to black music with a white face, their parents none the wiser. From then on, record companies sought white performers who sounded black, purely for marketing purposes. Even today, many white parents would feel more comfortable with their daughters listening to the sterile sounds of N*Sync and Mariah Carey (who appears white at first glance) rather than the rough edges of Mary J. Blige or the blatant innuendo of Sisqo. There's also the possibility that white faces put them more at ease. Although the latter two artists are arguably more talented and cutting edge than the former two, buying tastes and possible misgivings regarding black artists cause the former two artists' platinum records to far outnumber those of the latter two. With Eminem, I think Dr. Dre got wind of the fact that about 80 percent of rap's audience is white teenagers (when it comes to the mass-marketed stuff) and decided to tap into it. All he had to do was find someone with more street credibility than Vanilla Ice who happend to be a really good MC, and then promote him like crazy. Although virtually all the significant advances in popular music come from black people (rock, blues, jazz, reggae, soul, funk, metal [attributed to Hendrix], hip hop, reggae, ska, R&B, etc.), the record companies seek to market whatever comes along to the white majority. That is because the biggest portion of purchasing power lies within the majority's hands.
POSTED 7/11/2000
Dan, Los Angeles area, CA, United States, 21, Male, Pentecostal, Hispanic/Latino, Student, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 710200025240
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Question:
Why do so many Hispanics display huge Nike logos on the back window of their cars and trucks? Many also display their last name spelled out in Gothic letters. I have never seen a car driven by an Anglo with a big Nike logo or their name on the back window.
POSTED 7/5/2000
Joshua, Albuquerque, NM, United States, Male, Mesg ID 75200035630

Responses:
I haven't seen the Nike logo yet. It might be local to 'Qurque. They probably just like the aesthetics of it. However, around here, I've seen countless tricked-out pickup trucks with the Chevrolet logo, Ford logo, Dodge Ram logo, and countless other decals driven by a large variety of people. As for the lettering, it's not considered gothic, but Old English. It just looks cool. It's my favorite font. If I ever got any words tattooed on me, it would be that font. I guess it originated with gangs or in prison, but many see it as highly decorative and strikingly eye-catching. It's also a writing style commonly used by Lowriders; sometimes you'll see a show trophy in the rear window with something spelled out in that lettering.
POSTED 7/11/2000
Dan, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 21, Male, Pentecostal, Hispanic/Latino, Student, Lower middle class, Mesg ID 77200022817

This is quite a common phenomenon where I live as well. In addition to Hispanics displaying this silliness, it also applies to Arabics, blacks and the white/black wannabes. In my opinion, it is all about attention. Minorities are always trying to get attention in some way or another, whether it be dressing flashy, doing something flashy to their cars, walking flashy or just being plain loud and obnoxious. I think it is just a sign of stupidity. Only the stupid follow, and you can only call these people followers if nothing else.
POSTED 7/12/2000
Sharon, Troy, MI, United States, 26, Female, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight, 2 Years of College , Middle class, Mesg ID 712200084306
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