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good read!

Sep 23, 13 1:23 pm

if i were to guess where the line between offensive or not is, i would say the offensive use of "oriental" is when you use it with prejudice towards a group of people.  used without prejudice to merely describe a person's ethnicity or a geographical region is not, in my opinion, offensive.

when i say 'it's easy to judge others, but hard to look at yourself through other people's eyes" and you proceed to post comments showing prejudice against white people, protestants, bohemians, and hipsters, that suggest to me that you use that word with prejudice.

it's not the word that's offensive, it's your prejudice.  it's also not about being "PC," it's about being prejudice.

Sep 23, 13 1:36 pm

It's a chick flick, but I've seen it twice, largely for the cultural contrast foibles.


What decade are you posting from?

Sep 23, 13 1:40 pm

^ "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is 2002 vintage.  I saw it again in 2010.

Sep 23, 13 1:43 pm

No doubt you'll also love My Little Skinny Oriental Divorce. It's already a big hit on Uranus.

Sep 23, 13 1:55 pm

it's not that "oriental" is offensive or something - it's that it's really odd for an American under the age of 80 to use this term to describe a group of people.  It's more that it's geographically inaccurate or very Euro-centric and we've all since moved on to something that is better suited to us.  I guess you could go on using it, but you'll get weird looks because it's not something people have used in a few decades.


seriously, observant - are you posting from a time-machine?  your affectation makes it sound like you're from a very different era.

Sep 23, 13 2:39 pm

I confess this is all sadly entertaining.

In other news, I get to come out of retirement and put on my (unlicensed) architect hat to design a solarium. My in-laws want to build one on the side of their house.


Sep 23, 13 3:40 pm

you proceed to post comments showing prejudice against white people, protestants, bohemians, and hipsters, that suggest to me that you use that word with prejudice.

It depends on the flavor, curt.  The brand of whites and Protestants, which I've experienced by projects done elsewhere, who are all about their church, hunting, golf, looking at young women who could be their daughters like pervs because their wives have hit the wall, and alcohol (cheap beer), as a checklist package, are annoying.  They wish NY would be annexed by another country and have been to Hawaii (another country) once on a packaged deal.  They are smugly content in their cocoons and are quick to criticize others who don't fit their checklist.  So, yeah, I am prejudiced toward hicks, who are always white.  As for Protestants, if you want to address that separately, it also depends on the brand.  Organized religions who don't preach fire and brimstone are fine, even though Episcopalians are sometimes too liberal.  On the other hand, the evangelicals and fundamentalists who pack a Bible are bad news and generally found in red states.  So, it takes a short time to know who you're dealing with, and one is pre judging, as in giving them a wide berth. 

Bohemians and hipsters are a different subject altogether.  When suburban kids who aren't identifiable as any sub-group and have good manners, the sullenness and bad customer service offered by the latter group are a turn-off and ruin a customer experience.  Again, you know who you're dealing with in no time flat, as in pre judging, so give them a wide berth.

It's about street smarts and not wasting time more than it is about prejudice. 

seriously, observant - are you posting from a time-machine?  your affectation makes it sound like you're from a very different era.

Nope.  Your post hit the nail on the head.  The moniker you referred to faded out about 20 to 25 years ago, so I heard it used until that time.  Then, my peer group's parents, a generation up, used those terms because that's all they knew, saying stuff like "I heard he found himself a cute Oriental gal."

I confess this is all sadly entertaining.

I find differences entertaining.  My friends made fun of my parents' accents and we all made fun of their parents' accents when young.  I didn't mind.  Neither did others.  That others didn't experience diversity, and have a healthy level of irreverence about it, is indeed sad, as you say. 

Lisa Lampanelli makes some astute observations.  She was doing a show and mentioned how she had ignored handicapped people in a routine and that they didn't mind being included.  She said 'You know, when you've been through a lot, you can laugh at more.'  Meh, I think being through a lot embitters a person.  Had she said "You know, when you've seen a lot, you can laugh at more,"  I'd fully agree with her .

Yes to the addition:  "oh, you're an architect, can you redo my kitchen ... or redo the side of my house?"

Sep 23, 13 5:15 pm
Sarah Hamilton
This HAS been interesting. Beta, I love you, but I do wonder if you would think I was racist/prejudiced against cultures if you only knew what I wrote on here.

I think what observant is saying about making quick, categorical judgments is valid. I nearly always tackle Pakistani and Indian students that are knew to the school to ask them to join my cricket club. I tell them upfront that I am profiling them, and they tend to just laugh. The dads and uncles get excited about the club, and the students tend to bashfully decline. It isn't that I don't want other kids on my team, it's just that with Paki and Indian kids, I'm garunteed they will at least KNOW what I'm talking about, and not confuse it with croquet.

Same with food. I will readily ask a person I assume to be Mexican about how they make flour tortillas. I'm a master at it. I will also beg the Indian kids to bring me chai. So far, I've gotten it from two different families, and it's different each time. I just learned that Ethiopians also drink chai, so I'm going to have to test that.

I love culture, and I often ask the kids what they eat for dinner. I know that they typically eat hamburger helper, but maybe they know something I don't, and how can I unless I ask. It was a Punjabi kid's birthday today. I approached him, and two other Indian kids at lunch to say happy birthday, then asked what the Indian happy birthday song was. I was so disappointed to hear its OUR happy birthday song. How boring?!

I point out our differences to celebrate them, not to ostracize others.
Sep 23, 13 7:37 pm

Sarah, I'm certain your cheerful and honest curiosity comes through when you ask these things.  

Sep 23, 13 8:56 pm
Sarah Hamilton
Oh, definitely. And it typically makes the boys blush.
Sep 23, 13 9:19 pm

I point out our differences to celebrate them, not to ostracize others.

I don't get this feeling from observant, but I got this from Sarah even before she stated it. 

And BTW, I'm from Nowhere, OK (read O-Kay, not Oklahoma) on my profile because the field is required when setting it up. I'd be astounded if you could accurately place me geographically (where I grew up, went to school, or where I work). With your observational skills this should be no problem, right?

Sep 23, 13 9:48 pm

So, yeah, I am prejudiced toward hicks, who are always white...

sad to see this place hasn't changed since last I was around.... the above is just such an odd thing to say... and not true in my experience...but I guess that depends on what your definition of 'hick' is.

Sep 23, 13 9:57 pm

And I don't mean that comment only...just that one person seems to dominate the conversation/boards and everyone responds

Sep 23, 13 10:07 pm

hi lars

i don't think you're prejudice sarah.

Sep 23, 13 10:22 pm

I know, lars.  I wish everyone would just stop responding.


Nice to see you!

Sep 23, 13 10:29 pm

According to RT, the US is pressuring Russia to agree to a Chapter 7 (authorizing use of force) resolution in the UN in exchange for supporting Syria's entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Apparently Obama is as hot to get into Syria as Cheney was to get into Iraq.

Sep 23, 13 10:37 pm
Sarah Hamilton
Lars, give us a new topic! Your pick. Have you ever seen Lars and the New Girl? I haven't, but it just came to mind. Wonder if it's any good.
Sep 23, 13 10:53 pm

It's a thoroughly beautiful movie, Sarah! It's how life should be.

Sep 23, 13 11:10 pm

And I don't mean that comment only...just that one person seems to dominate the conversation/boards and everyone responds

Definitely not trying to dominate the thread.  I just don't care for overly politically correct, overly sensitive, castrated, "MN nice" male architects who never heard the expression "20,000 Frenchmen can't be wrong."  I noticed the bleeding hearts in a-school.  In u.g. b-school, people let this stuff roll off their backs and laughed at it.  Welcome back. I guess radio wasn't your calling.

Sep 24, 13 12:18 am

I'm from fucking NJ. I was raised for the first 13 fucking years in the military.

What I loathe, fucking loathe about your comments, is that you think, that when Dave Chappelle does a sketch about a white family called "The Niggar Family", that because people laugh, you are given license to, or a pass, to make generalizations about a whole hosts of ethnic/racial/religious groups, just because, well, it was a pervasive world view, held at one point in time, so....Here's the problem; Chappelle, a talented, fucking brilliant comedian, you, not so talented, brilliant, or funny. This reason alone is why I suspect Dave left comedy for awhile; because you couldn't see this as problem - that back in the "good ole days" whites calling blacks "niggers" did get a laugh, only the people that were doing it, weren't comedians, and they weren't doing it to be funny [except maybe to other racists], they were doing it because they, despite the growing global majority, hated black people - and you see it as somehow okay. "Well, Dave says it, so it must be cool."

I'm sure it confounds the shit out of you when black americans move the goal posts, and you're stuck using racial identifiers that are 10 years out of date, kinda like when white people use phrases like; "who let the dogs out," or "are you feeling me dog?"

You're not that enlightened, about religion, race, or culture, in fact I'd love to hang with you, actually near you, as you pontificate about your ideas regarding race, just to ring a bell at the number of eye rolls I'd see from the people you were saying these things to.

I'm actually amazed at your rather early 1960's view of the world, and your failure to recognize how obfuscated it is, and how the idea that white america controlled the means of production - entertainment - and if people of color didn't play the "stepin fetchit" roles, they never would've been seen by the majority of America, but that came at cost, and it's a cost still being felt today, and to a large extent still exists.

Sep 24, 13 12:52 am


The posts had nothing to do with any specific race.  It had to do with changing labels for everyone, how it's a full time job for people to remain abreast of these changes, and how key people have had to apologize for innocuously using dated monikers when no malice was intended.  And how whites, who IRL eschew diversity, are the worst at playing the PC or "you're a racist" card.  And since I don't know Dave Chappelle's mantra or gig, how do you explain Lisa Lampanelli, who is currently popular and packs the house?  The audience is keeling over laughing.  Is she brilliant?  Or does she represent a reawakening of racist sensibilities?  The people who are more apt to have fun with this stuff are also the most apt to have a broader slate of friends and acquaintances.

Yeah, I'd like to meet some of the people on here, too.  They might be the "real deal" or they might be 180s off screen. 

Sep 24, 13 1:04 am

I know Lisa's work quite well. Perhaps you're not aware of her recent controversy, and how Wendy Williams took her to task? 

I brought Chappelle, because you tried to use a comedian to illustrate a point. They're comedians, they poke at the underlying bullshit that exists in the world, but you're not a comedian, you don't get paid to be, you don't get to use the tools; in short, STOP PRACTICING COMEDY WITHOUT A FUCKING LICENSE!!

Sep 24, 13 1:18 am
Sarah Hamilton
So I have to give a lecture today on the principles of design. Dug out my old Gardner, and pinned tons of paintings to analyze with the class. Teaching high schoolers to create analysis drawings is tough! Making them do it in illustrator is tougher. My biggest issue is that I can't decide which principles I want to focus on - repitition, contrast, emphasis, proportion, balance, movement, unity, rhythm... Those sound good.

In any case, I'll be showing them some of my favorite old paintings, like Third Class Carriage, Death of Marat, The Stonebreakers, Salome, Wreck of the Medusa (or whatever that one is called), Woman Ironing, just to name a few. It can be hard to find artwork deemed appropriate for high school children by the conservative state of Texas. No Odelisque!
Sep 24, 13 8:09 am

Heard a lecture last night on the relationships between genetics, learning, parenting, behavior, and stress where I was able to confirm my instincts about stress being THE BIGGEST factor in all chronic illness, from diabetes to ADHD. Still trying to digest this: the lecturer said child abuse is correlated with cancer in adulthood which blew my mind. Hopefully this era of "modern medicine" starts to recognize the brain as part of the body. This is my passion. The model of the mind as blank slate/black box is terrible.

On that note, beta, please please please don't let observant stress you out. It is not worth it.

Sarah, this image taught me more about design than probably any other:

Sep 24, 13 8:42 am

+++ tint / stress

also makes for bad behavior

Sep 24, 13 8:56 am

Exactly, Miles. There is no such thing as bad behavior in kids. Kids are "acting out" the stress that they don't have the words for like a game of charades. The label of bad behavior is a moral judgment placed on kids by parents and teachers. Thus, I can see observant as INTERESTING and not annoying.

Sep 24, 13 9:03 am
Sarah Hamilton

Does that say "This is not a pipe"?  It sure looks like a pipe to me!

Most stressful thing to hit me today?  Husband drove my car last night, and he left an empty bag of some sort of Doritos in the door panel.  It smelled, so I took it out this morning, and threw it away.  Now, my HANDS smell like those stinky jalapeño-y chips.  Guess I should go find a sink.  Husband!

Sep 24, 13 9:06 am

observant is broken, and as part of the community we have an obligation to fix him.  if we don't fix him, his insistence on celebrating prejudice and calling it "PC" will spread to others.  the consequences could be dire.  the hard part of course is to get him to actually reflect on his behavior and think instead of just acting out.  not sure i know how to do that.

i'm pretty sure observant is not a child, so i would think methodology developed for children wouldn't be effective. of course i could be wrong about that.

Sep 24, 13 9:34 am

I don't know about fixing observant, but I will not fault nor judge him for being the way he is, which is not the same as accepting his behavior.

Sarah, you are right, that is what it says. Now put on your thinking cap and take another look for what that means.

Sep 24, 13 10:26 am

I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.

-- W.C. Fields

Sep 24, 13 10:34 am
Sarah Hamilton

Ignoring and redirecting work on all ages.  Observant has said his piece, others have countered, and no one has budged.  Lets agree to disagree, and move on.  

Sep 24, 13 10:51 am

On second thought, I will chip in to have observant neutered if that is what you mean by fixing. 

Sep 24, 13 10:52 am

t.i.n.t. I remember when those findings came out not long ago that stress in childhood could lead to cancer later on.  Pretty mind-blowing stuff, and even MORE of a reason to make sure that children born into poverty and/or violent homes have access to better environments, via school, community centers, parental education, food programs, abuse counseling, etc. The list goes on and on and frankly my opinion is fuck anyone trying to get rid of social programs. The long-term positive outcomes are so much more important than worrying about whether a fraction of people will take advantage of them.

I don't read observant's posts so I'll have to depend on the village of TC to fix him. Which is selfish of me, I know. But I only have so many hours in a day.

Sep 24, 13 11:17 am

morning TC!

did y'all here that Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman Probably Had Sex Once?

Sarah sounds like your morning/week is going pretty good if that is the most stressful thing to hit you today...?

also i second the "Lets agree to disagree, and move on" (at least off TC)...

Sep 24, 13 11:38 am

Who said white privilege doesn't have any benefits.


Sorry, my last comment on this issue. It's just amusing that "obfuscervant" fails to even acknowledge white privilege.

Sep 24, 13 11:44 am

There's something for everyone.

Sep 24, 13 12:29 pm

observant is broken, and as part of the community we have an obligation to fix him.  if we don't fix him, his insistence on celebrating prejudice and calling it "PC" will spread to others.  the consequences could be dire.  the hard part of course is to get him to actually reflect on his behavior and think instead of just acting out.  not sure i know how to do that.

Curt, I've got a thicker skin and your comment is more provincial than it is rude.  It just points to the chasm in sensibilities between ethnic coastal urbanites and white rural types in the interior.  I'm blessed in that I have many friends who are ethnic, had similar families and life experiences, and don't want to fix me.  Sorry, [sutures], they're ethnic, but still white.  In our homes, we didn't speak English.  I find it interesting when you have frequented the trifecta of schools with Americana's proffered list of "shoulds"  - white, heartland values, the Greek system, emphasis on drinking, playing golf, being walking scoreboards for Big 10 football, and being a conforming company man, that you feel you are the one to fix me.  You also come across as brusque and (also) full of snap judgments, and with little patience.  Are you this way to interns you train?  When my parents were sponsored into the U.S., they had 2 choices:  the greater NY area or LA.  A 3rd choice, not by family, but my friends, manifested itself in the way of Omaha, NE.  I asked my parents what they would have done if Omaha was the only place they knew people and could have been their American destination.  They said they would have passed on immigrating and I am thankful for that.  So, in short, the "flyover zone" has different sensibilities.  You would have blown a gasket if you headed to NY or LA after college, and I would have blown a gasket had I headed to KC or Omaha.

Curt, I'd love to see your friends - white Midwesterners who do all the pre-programmed things.  I know the type.  No thanks.

Carry on, folks ...

Sep 24, 13 12:44 pm
Sarah Hamilton
I don't know that my dad had a stressful childhood, and he has tongue cancer. Funny, you guys are the first I've told. He had it when I was in college, and couldn't help him, and now it's back. Sucks.
Sep 24, 13 1:45 pm

I know the type.

you don't.  not even a little bit.  you've never sat down and talked to them.

when someone meets a kid from pakistan and talks to them about cricket, that person gets to know them as an individual.  when you judge people from omaha as, whatever it is you think you're saying, you can't get to know them as people.  the difference is significant.

Sep 24, 13 1:54 pm
Sarah Hamilton
I don't know that my dad had a stressful childhood, and he has tongue cancer. Funny, you guys are the first I've told. He had it when I was in college, and couldn't help him, and now it's back. Sucks.
Sep 24, 13 3:00 pm

sorry to hear about your dad sarah.  i hope it regresses again soon.

Sep 24, 13 3:10 pm

Ugh, Sarah, I'm sorry.  A good friend's dad also has cancer that they thought was gone and is now back.  We're at that age that our parents are really having significant health problems and it scares me so much (my mom has Parkinson's - possibly the shittiest of all diseases).

The childhood stress isn't the *only* thing that leads to cancer, but it is somehow responsible for cell structure changes that make cancer more of a possibility, is how I understand it. Tongue cancer is so specific -  when I was in high school that's how they scared us all into not smoking clove cigarettes (which taste delicious), by saying they lead specifically to lip and tongue cancer.  They're unfiltered.

Sep 24, 13 3:15 pm

I loved smoking cloves! It made me feel so exotic, like I was living in Bombay! #tonguecheek

Anyone like the single line graphics as much as I do on the iOS7? I think it's supremely elegant.

Sep 24, 13 6:31 pm
Sarah, sorry to read about your pa, hope things go well.
Sep 24, 13 7:11 pm
Sarah Hamilton
What are you calling "single line graphics"?
Sep 24, 13 7:28 pm

single line graphic == another 2d v 3d discussion?  i don't do apple products.  i welcome google as our benevolent overlord.

Sep 24, 13 7:49 pm

i have been  walking thru the post over the past couple of days....following  Miss Liberty's lead.  I don't have much time in my life for such carrying on.  Black is Black and White is White and I don;t mean it in a racial way.  All People are created  equal, but some are given disadvantages and others well they are given everything. So why piss about it? Sometimes those who have nothing rise above and do great things and those who have everything find their life is nothing. It does depend on skin color,  beliefs.  It just happens that way some rise to the top some fall to the bottom.  That is for those who have and for those who have not.

I'm saddened about the Aussie and his lady who lost their lives in  Africa.  I ask Why..why...why. 

Sep 24, 13 8:18 pm

snook, that sucks about the architect and his family, disgusting and tragic.

Sep 24, 13 9:12 pm


Hey s-d-d, watch your insults, ok?  I notice those who hook up with foreigners tend to be on the touchy side.  Here's the deal:  the doctors, lawyers, and business execs get all the good looking American women.  They get the first pick.  Women aren't stupid.  Then, it works its way down from there.  Since the word is out on how much architects make, or don't make, they usually marry or couple accordingly.  Who the heck wants a living room full of foreign relatives jabbering in another language?  (Foreign friends are cool, but family, as in forever?)  One of my friends who is a non-Hispanic minority wanted blonde.  He felt entitled to one.  When he couldn't get that, he went South American, and dangerous South America as opposed to Southern Cone South America.  I thought my head was going to implode with all that yacking in Spanish in his house - Sofia Vergara exponential, in voice only.  Since he finally gauged where he realistically stood in the pecking order, that's what he had to do to get a wife.  Another screwed up PC maxim for the New Millennium:  not wanting to date outside your race is also racism.  Yeah, right.  Give it a rest, s-d-d.

Sep 24, 13 9:21 pm

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