Best of theWeek
of Oct. 13, 2002

Best of WeekArchives

Here are the most intriguing cross-cultural exchangeseither begun or advanced during the week of Oct. 13, 2002, asselected by Y? These postings, as well as "Best of the Week" entriesfrom previous weeks, also can be found by accessing Y?'s databaseusing the search form , or, in the case ofanswers posted before April 24, 1999, in the Original Archives (all questionsfrom the Original Archives have been entered into thedatabase aswell). In the Original Archives, as well as in the database, you willfind questions that have received answers, as well as questions stillawaiting responses. You are encouraged to answer any questionsrelevant to your demographic background, as well as to ask anyprovocative question you desire. Answers posted are not necessarilymeant to represent the views of an entire demographic group, but canprovide a window into the insights of an individual from thatgroup.
 First-time users should first make a quick stopat Y?'s guidelines pages for asking andanswering questions.

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"Why Do White People SmellLike Wet Dogs
When They Come Out Of The Rain?"


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Question:

I was with some female friends the other day and mentioned thatI thought a particular book was 'good porcelain throne reading.' Theylooked at me funny, and one said, 'That must be a guy thing.' Dowomen not read on the toilet? If not, why not? Men, do you readmagazines and books while doing your duty? Please say yes - and letthese women know about the pleasure of a really good ... read.

POSTED 10/17/2002

J.M., n/a, FL, United States, Male, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID1017200290832

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Question:

Men: how often do you pleasure yourselves? I probably averageonce every other day, which my wife thinks is excessive. I happen tothink it's just natural and a great release mechanism. Also, I'd beinterested to see how/if this cuts across racial/gender lines. Forexample, how often do African-American men/women take care ofthemselves, and if they don't do it often, why not, etc.

POSTED 10/17/2002

J.M., n/a, FL, United States, Male, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID1017200291211

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Question:

In spite of a half-dozen visits from Jehovah's Witnesses, allof which immediately became embroiled in discussions about evolution,I still don't know what you guys believe. I'm aware there is awhopping amount of misinformation out there, but is there apracticing (not former) Jehovah's Witness who can list off in maybe adozen sentences just what you believe?

POSTED 10/15/2002

Michael, Portland, OR, United States, 58, Male, Unitarian,White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class,Mesg ID 10132002111849

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Question:

Why do so many people have an abiding affection for bygoneeras? As late as 1960, one in three children lived in poverty. Priorto the '20s, absentee fathers didn't even have a child-support systemto evade. In the 1940s, less than half the children entering highschool graduated. The United States has been the murder capital ofthe industrial world for 150 years, and alcohol consumption in the1820s was three times higher than it is today. There's tons more,including the horrifying treatment of gays, women and racialminorities. So why do people consider the past so idyllic?
POSTED 10/13/2002
Jessica B., Raleigh, MS, United States, 17, Female, Atheist,White/Caucasian, Straight, teacher's assistant, 2 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 1010200222429


Responses:

Nostalgia has been withus for a long, long, long time. It is a normal human characteristic.For example, over 2,300 years ago the author of Ecclesiastes said,'Be not like fools who ask why former times were better than these.'I would guess that those who glorify previous times do not actuallymiss the 'times' so much as they miss being at the age they werethen. I notice you are 17. Keep your perspective and perhaps 40 yearsfrom now you will be able to say, '2002 really wasn't all thatremarkable one way or the other. I'm glad to be living in2042.'

POSTED10/15/2002

Michael, Portland, OR,United States, 58, Male, Unitarian, White/Caucasian, Straight, Over 4Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 10132002110218


I believe most of thisbias comes from a tendency by all of us to over-romanticize the erasin which we experienced our childhoods. Part of it, however, stemsfrom a political agenda pursued by those who would roll back thegains made by women, minorities, children and others who are not inthe WASP male demographic. The Christian Coalition and FamilyResearch Council are two groups that blatantly exploit thisromanticization to promote a theocratic platform.

POSTED10/15/2002

Vincent, Minneapolis,MN, United States, <aries73@mindspring.com>, 29, Male,Black/African American, Straight, Over 4 Years of College, Lowermiddle class, Mesg ID 1014200225217

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Question:
I have seen white people kiss their dogs on the mouth, or let theirdog just come up and lick them in the mouth. What's up with that?
POSTED 10/13/2002
Marie, Washington, DC, United States, 24, Female, Methodist,Black/African American, Straight, 2 Years of College, Lower middleclass, Mesg ID 1011200293908


Responses:

Many people, white andI would think otherwise, love their pets and think that it's cute. Mydogs, two Beagles, aren't security animals, they're like littlefriends. When they're happy, they try and lick me on the face. It'sgross, but funny at the same time.

POSTED10/15/2002

Ben, Morgantown, WV,United States, 25, Male, Agnostic, White/Caucasian, Straight,Salesperson, Over 4 Years of College, Lower middle class, Mesg ID1013200272201

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Question:

I've noticed that a lot of women in this part of the country -and I'm certain elsewhere, too - have really bad haircuts andhairstyles (i.e. teased or feathered hair, mullets, bangs, etc.).Most seem to be over 35 years of age. This strikes me as a paradox,considering the numerous women's magazines available in which everyother article seems to be about hairstyles. My question is this: Whenthey go to their stylist, do they ask for that hairstyle? Whatcompels them to go for gaudy and tacky styles as opposed to straight,natural, shoulder-length hair? Better yet, do they know that it looksterrible?

POSTED 10/8/2002

Christian, Boston, MA, United States, 28, Male,White/Caucasian, Consultant, Over 4 Years of College, Upper middleclass, Mesg ID 108200211120


Responses:

Often people seem to stick with the styles of their youth, whichmay have been very attractive at that time. For instance, 15 to 20years ago, the teased/feathered/mullet style was trendy. They likelyassociate that with what was attractive in their younger days and arenot inclined to update. It's not limited to hair; often these samewomen need to update their cosmetic styles, too. But it's not limitedto women. Hockey player Jaromir Jagr seemed to have a mullet longpast that style's prime.
POSTED 10/10/2002
C., Austin, TX, United States, 30ish, Female, Jewish,White/Caucasian, Straight, attorney, Over 4 Years of College, Middleclass, Mesg ID 1010200210237


Wow, Christian, I wonder what your hair looks like. What makes youthink every woman would look great with straight, shoulder-lengthhair? Some women can't grow their hair that long. It would be unruly,or it would be impossible to care for. Also, what the heck is amullet? I recently cut several inches off my hair because I was readyfor a change. It was long, straight and below my shoulders. I lookedat old photos of myself and searched on the Internet to get ideas. Itook the ideas to a recommended hairdresser, who helped me pick astyle that would be good for me. I've gotten rave reviews - exceptfrom my ex-husband.
POSTED 10/13/2002
Annie, Lawrenceville, GA, United States, 51, Female, Christian,White/Caucasian, Straight, Copy editor, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 109200295212


I'm sure these women have no idea their hair looks terrible. Whydon't you just say something next time you see a woman with ahairstyle that you consider unattractive? I'm sure she would be verygrateful to you.
POSTED 10/13/2002
Jennifer, San Jose, CA, United States, 28, Female, 4 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 109200222020

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Question:

To men: do you use an electric nose-hair trimmer? My wife andsister-in-law think it's a little odd that I don't have one at myage, but I don't see much use for it. Is it normal to have one ofthese devices, and am I the exception?

POSTED 10/17/2002

J.M., n/a, FL, United States, 40, Male, White/Caucasian, MesgID 1017200291613

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Question:

In July I was at the wedding of a friend who is Jewish. Laterin the night, when I was in the ladies room, a Jewish woman came upto me and said I looked nice in the dress I was wearing and that sheused to be just as thin as I, etc. I said to her, 'Well, you stilllook thin to me.' She looked at me and said, 'I mean concentrationcamp thin.' (No, she was not in a concentration camp - she was bornand raised in Boston). Then as we were walking back to the reception,she came out and said 'What is your last name?' I figured she usedthe 'concentration camp' line as a way to feel me out, so to speak,maybe like a test type thing. When she came right out and asked mylast name, I pretty much knew that was her way of asking if I wasJewish. What is anyone's take on this? Was she rude and over theline, or am I just reading more into it than I should?
POSTED 10/13/2002
Jennifer, Boston, MA, United States, 31, Female, Episcopalian,White/Caucasian, Straight, Own my own clothing boutique, 4 Years ofCollege, Middle class, Mesg ID 1013200254158


Responses:

She was out of line.Grossly out of line.

POSTED10/15/2002

Nicole, Virginia Beach,VA, United States, 25, Female, Mesg ID 1013200290152


She was trying to findout if you were Jewish. I've had people do this before. She doesn'tsound rude to me, though she might try being a bit more subtle nexttime. I do think the 'concentration camp' thing was a bit much. Someof us have that kind of humor, but it's usually reserved for tightcircles.

POSTED10/15/2002

Josiah H., Tel Aviv,NA, Israel, 32, Male, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Mesg ID10142002121053


We have a tendency towant to know who else is Jewish. It's like making sure someone elseis 'safe.' This is from not so long ago, when it was unsafe to beJewish - or different in any way, actually.

POSTED10/15/2002

Sharon, Albuquerque,NM, United States, 32, Female, Jewish, White/Caucasian, Straight,secretary, Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID1015200224338

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Question:

Is there any cultural significance to why I've seen black menwith what looks like a Band-aid or some sort of tape underneath aneye? Is it simply a fad? Also, is there any significance to stickinga pick comb through an Afro? And why does it seem like I've seen somany young black males leaning back while chewing on plasticstraws?
POSTED 10/13/2002
Katherine, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 19, Female, Unitarian,White/Caucasian, Bisexual, Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class,Mesg ID 1092002120610


Responses:
The Band-aid trend wasstarted by the musician Nelly. He originally had it on his face tocover a basketball injury. Even though he is now healed, he stillwears the bandage in honor of an imprisoned friend. Fans of Nellyhave since copied this unusual look.

POSTED10/15/2002

Nicole, Virginia Beach,VA, United States, 25, Female, Mesg ID 1013200291443


These occurrencesyou've described are silly fads. As an American of African descent, Isometimes get frustrated over such silly, trivial displays ofstupidity by other black males. These fads just add to thestereotypes put upon us. What is the practical significance ofwearing pants below your butt so that your underwear is exposed, ofchewing on a straw, wearing a Band-aid where there's no cut, limpingas if you have a war injury, constantly refraining from using correctEnglish, spending your whole paycheck on an outfit, putting gold inyour mouth or driving a Cadillac Escalade with rims while you live inan apartment? Most of our young black men are so easily led by theunrealistic images on BET that they try to emulate this crap. Theseindividuals have no identity, are misguided and easily followwhatever fad arises without questioning its source and/or meaning.Almost 70 percent of black households have no father. Much more havea male present who doesn't do a father's job. This is what we havereaped. It is sad.

POSTED10/15/2002

Ramon, Savannah, GA,United States, 26, Male, Pentecostal, Black/Hispanic, Straight,Graduate Student, Over 4 Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID1014200262120

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Question:

A recent mob attack in Milwaukee of kids as young as 10 against ahomeless man drew national attention. Had this murder been a crime ofwhite youths attacking a black man rather than black youths against ablack man, the entire black community would have been up in arms. Whythen did this horrendous crime not generate furor within the blackcommunity on a national or local level? And if it did, what was andis being done about it, if anything?
POSTED 10/13/2002
Bill, Burlington, VT, United States, 44, Male, White/Caucasian,Finance, Over 4 Years of College, Upper class, Mesg ID109200283312


Responses:
I'm sure it didn't create'furor' among the black community, specifically, because the crimehad nothing to do with race. If it were a group of white youths, thecrime could have been race-motivated, and then it would make sensefor the black community to band together. Something like this shouldupset all races because it's a crime against humanity, notblacks.

POSTED10/15/2002

Danielle, Southern, NJ,United States, 27, Female, White/Caucasian, Over 4 Years of College,Middle class, Mesg ID 1015200254928

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Question:

Do blacks feel physical pleasure differently than whites? Insex, food, warmth and other physical pleasures and desires, itappears black people are somehow hungrier for the pleasure than whitepeople. How can this be? Neurotransmitter differences? Serotoninuptake?
POSTED 3/14/2002
T.C., Philadelphia, PA, United States, Mesg ID 314200295857


Responses:
The differences in the way blacks and whites experience pleasure ismost likely an inherent evolutionary difference in the races. Theblack race developed in the more tropical regions of the Sub-Saharandesert, while European races developed in the harsher regions ofEurope. Blacks had plenty of land resources, food and sexual partnersand plenty of time to partake in these indulgences, while the whiterace spent its time struggling for survival. The white race had tolearn to be civilized to suppress their immediate desire to eat inorder to have enough food saved in the winter, while blacks could eatall they wanted anytime they wanted. What it comes down to is thatnow that blacks are living in white civilizations, like the UnitedStates was created to be, they are being required to work for theirpleasures. They have to work to get money for food, and they aren'tallowed (in theory, anyway) to force themselves on multiple sexpartners. Blacks are resistant to the white 'delayed gratificationsystem,' and their strong hunger for pleasure may well be a sign ofan innate desire to return to the more base and barbaristic lifestyleof the African jungles. It is most likely a sign of theinappropriatness of blacks living in a white society. If you wantmore information and straight facts about the evolution of the races,I suggest reading 'My Awakening' by David Duke.
POSTED 3/18/2002
Beth, Dallas, TX, United States, Female, White/Caucasian, Straight,College Student, 2 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID318200293038


I read Duke's book to see if the most famous white nationalist hatesus. I was able to read the whole book, unlike some white books thatare dry and very alien. Surprisingly, Duke was able to communicate tomy African soul. He says he was raised by a black nurse and lovessuch black people. He must have received some black influence. Dukemakes it clear that blacks and whites have a different soul (a truthpointed out by many black thinkers), that we have different characterand behavior, and that our IQ is much lower. He destroys thecounter-arguments of all those Jews who pretend that there are no IQdifference. Does that mean Duke hates us? I think it is a greatargument for our cause to recognize the IQ assessment: IQ is a whitemeasure, a white standard of white education and values. It showsthat we Africans need our own schools and own things, and that whiteinfluence (white colonies in Africa, white music, TV, etc.) alienateus and enslave us. A point made by many of us, on which Duke agrees,is that we need separate schools. Duke is no hater, unlike Horowitz,who wants to destroy black studies and curriculum. Very important forunderstanding the white world, Duke explains the people who own andcontrol the media, and have always manipulated naive societies andabused them. Duke's book is worth the read just because of this.Reading 'My Awakening' will help you understand the lies about theNation of Islam's most-recommended book, 'The Secret relationshipbetween Blacks and Jews.' To Mr. Duke I say good work, white man, weneed all that information.
POSTED 10/10/2002
Dialo Y., Johannesburg, NA, South Africa, 19, Male, Vodou,Black/African American, Mesg ID 1092002123743

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Question:

A Nigerian woman who got pregnant out of wedlock was recentlysentenced to death by stoning by an Islamic court in Nigeria. Thegovernment of Nigeria stated the punishment will not take placebecause the laws of the state supercede the law of the Islamic courtthat pronounced the sentence on the woman. Much has been made of thecase in the media, and some contestants in the 2002 Miss Worldpageant have threatened to boycott the competition, which is to beheld in Abuja, Nigeria. I think stoning as punishment for a pregnancyout of wedlock is outrageous, but why is this woman the only oneunder condemnation by Islamic law? What's to be said of the man whoimpregnated her? And don't tell me the father can't be identified.DNA identification is readily available and highly accurate.
POSTED 9/17/2002
Bella, Washington, DC, United States, 30, Female, Christian,Afro-Caribbean, Straight, Administrative Assistant, Technical School,Middle class, Mesg ID 917200281332



Responses:

First, this law should not be applied in this case according toIslamic law for many technicalities. Islamic law automaticallynegates many decrees for poor, unjust societies - like most modernMuslim societies. If the law were applicable, it should be carriedout on both the man and the woman. The Koran states explicitly thatthe adulterer and adulteress get equal punishment (by the way, Ithink the punishment is beating, not stoning). If the man isintentionally ignored, this is due to societal factors, notIslam.
POSTED 9/20/2002
Karim, Cairo, NA, Egypt, 22, Male, Muslim, Arab, Straight, UniversityT.A., Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID 920200212918



Karim, with all due respect, how just is this law when in bothinstances (beating or stoning) the life of the innocent unborn childis overlooked? Beating can cause injury and/or death to the child,while stoning would surely kill it. Therefore, it seems hypocriticalfor Muslims to denounce abortion but at the same time uphold suchpractices.
POSTED 10/10/2002
Ramon, Savannah, GA, United States, <ramon4th@yahoo.com>, 26,Male, Pentecostal, Black/Hispanic, Straight, Graduate Student, Over 4Years of College, Lower class, Mesg ID 10102002105520



Sorry for the inaccuracy/incompleteness of my response. The law isthat the punishment is carried out two years after the child is born.This is because the legal breastfeeding duration in Islamic law istwo years. Islam forbids infanticide in all forms and under allcircumstances. By the way, Islam does not unconditionally prohibitabortion, but that's another issue.
POSTED 10/13/2002
Karim, Cairo, NA, Egypt, 22, Male, Muslim, Arab, Straight, UniversityT.A., Over 4 Years of College, Middle class, Mesg ID1011200273920

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