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Author Topic: What's in the News  (Read 344197 times)

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2715 on: August 12, 2017, 11:45:52 PM »
Wrong A-level choices prevent poorer students gaining elite university places

Best degree courses snub vocational options popular with low-income pupils

Students from poorer backgrounds may be held back by their A-level subject choices when applying for respected degree courses, such as law, at leading universities.

New research suggests that those taking vocational A-levels in law, accounting or business are less likely to attend elite universities than students who opt for traditional academic subjects such as sciences, mathematics, languages, history and geography....



If there were an educational deathstar I'd call it "academia"
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2716 on: August 16, 2017, 06:56:46 AM »
'Stupid laowai': Chengdu rapper comes out with incredibly racist diss track against foreigners

A nationalistic Chengdu rapper has raised a ruckus online with China's latest offensively awful summer jam in which he boasts that he wants to make foreigners polish his boots before shooting them with a gun.

In his new single Xie Di (謝帝), who goes by the moniker "Fat Shady" (and even has Eminem's face inked on his arm), frequently angrily spits out the words"gua laowai" (瓜老外), meaning "stupid foreigners" -- using “gua,“ a common insult in the Chengdu dialect and the term "laowai," an informal way of referring to foreigners which can be a slur depending on the context....


"Fuck Off Foreigners" (Gua Laowai)ENGLISH TRANSLATION - Fat Shady (Xie Di)


I suspect it's probably wrong to assume no one knows the irony inherent in Chinese using rap to be offensively nationalist. In fact, in an era of Psy Gangnam Style pop culture, some tattooed Chengdude going old skool hip hop to get jiggy on the streets and make finger pistols at foreign straw people is, wait for it.... comedy. And actually not bad rap. But the comedy is very likely comedy he knows he's making and is being entertained by. (Contrast this with the dildoes from CD-REV, for instance, who do appear to be dummies of the variety that will eventually claim rap was invented in China.)

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There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

Granny Mae

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2717 on: August 16, 2017, 10:27:18 PM »
Tell him to come to Oz and sing that song to all the Asian folk who are in my city of Brisbane! bjbjbjbjbj :wtf:

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2718 on: August 16, 2017, 11:43:02 PM »
The - let's call them "ideas" - in the song don't come out of nowhere. For a while in China there was a formulation for managing foreign relations inside China. I forget the actual slogan, but it went something like accept the good, reject the bad. The apparent idea was that in the service of China's development, full-on "westernization" was completely out of the question, but that stuff like high technology and material education was okay. And while that looks like it hides a core of xenophobic hysteria, in fact it was probably just yet another way for the Party to maintain its own legitimacy as the appropriate steward of China and what is Chinese. Anyway, point is, this "Fat Shady" tune makes that same vague, disingenuous distinction between "foreign friends" who are okay and "stupid foreigners" who can fuck off.

I don't know if it's a fair comparison really but someone might pull this out of their backside: perhaps Australia already does this kind of foreigner tagging but the terms are "asylum seeker" and "economic refugee" and "queue jumper" and of course the classic "boat people".
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

Granny Mae

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2719 on: August 17, 2017, 10:26:14 PM »
Calach, I'm wondering how long it will be before English is the second language in Oz. bibibibibi I'm still trying to decide which language will take over. Whenever I get in a lift at "the den", I have a bet with myself that the occupants will be speaking another language. I am correct most of the time. bibibibibi

Escaped Lunatic

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2720 on: Yesterday at 01:52:36 AM »
I'm pro-cloning and we vote!
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2721 on: Yesterday at 02:39:18 AM »
Calach, I'm wondering how long it will be before English is the second language in Oz. bibibibibi I'm still trying to decide which language will take over.

Without an actual military invasion and dissolution of the government by a foreign power probably not any time soon. According to the 2016 census, 70% of Oz households speak only English. The next most common first language spoken in homes is Mandarin, and that only in 2.5% of homes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Australia

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Whenever I get in a lift at "the den", I have a bet with myself that the occupants will be speaking another language. I am correct most of the time. bibibibibi


Ideally, or at least theoretically, isn't it a wonderful thing to have some many bilingual people in one place. The whole world at home. And all of them gambling too! Economic and social cohesion at its finest!
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...

Granny Mae

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2722 on: Yesterday at 10:19:10 PM »
Calach, I wonder what a 2018 census would indicate? As a matter of interest, one of the lifts (at the entrance to "the den") only uses Mandarin to get messages across. bibibibibi The Casino recognizes the majority of its clients. bjbjbjbjbj

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: What's in the News
« Reply #2723 on: Yesterday at 11:41:01 PM »
The census results are a little misleading by themselves. They indicate which languages are used for primary communication in homes, and in that sense Mandarin is not in the least bit challenging the primacy of English in Oz. But there are in fact a great many more Mandarin speakers in Australia.

And actually, I went looking for numbers on which languages are spoken in Oz and found for instance in Sydney, the second most commonly spoken language is Arabic. Mandarin is third.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/talk-of-the-town-youre-all-talking-my-language-20140710-zt3s9

And the statistics make it look like language groups congregate. (Or at least that language clusters exist.)

http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/sydney-languages

And one can find quotes like this one:

Non-English speakers outnumber English speakers in one in five [Sydney] suburbs, cementing the city's status as one of the world's most linguistically diverse cities.

But grouping languages as English and not-English really doesn't tell us much. I'm pretty sure that English compared to any one other language will show English as massively dominant, but I don't have ready numbers available at the moment



Anyway, the reason I've been going into this a bit more is there's one of those globalisation, naturalisation, humanisation processes at work, and it stumbles on the same point that similar equalisation trends do: when the dominant population is unwilling to give up the fruits of domination. You can see it in modern debates about feminism. Women and girls talk about not being feminists because feminism is toxic now, and men come up with men's rights groups, and people talk about waves and progress and backsliding and so on, and it's all bullshit because entirely and only the one stumbling block is men. men are obliged to stop asserting their "natural" rights, and they don't want to. They're supposed to recognise when they are asserting unnatural authority, and to stop doing it. But they don't because it means not just ceding power, it means extra work for them - the work of not stepping on other's opportunity. I'm not expressing this well, it's just something I've observed in such debates, that men want to keep the privileges of former dominance mostly because they have to do less communicative work as a result: the dominant population sits in power while the subordinate population orbits around them.

Long story short, it works for language too. Where English is dominant, the English speakers can tell all other language groups, "This is Australia, speak English" and that mostly benefits only the English speakers.

It's quite remarkable the parallels too. I recall people used to say how convenient and natural it was for men to work and women to mind the home. And look, how convenient and natural it is for any bugger coming to Australia being allowed or not allowed based on English ability.
There is little in history to support the proposition that China was indeed the centre of the Asian universe commanding deference among less civilised states around its periphery...