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Kilmatead
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 13, 10:52

You see, reading this forum it's all about the translation into the German and back again. :D

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Post by Tuxman » 2012 Jan 13, 23:49

See the Irishman talk about funny languages ...
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 14, 00:53

Not a fan of Robert Burns then, eh?

One experience everyone should have before they die is to try and chat up a cute Scottish girl (preferably Glaswegian) in a crowded bar.  First of all, it's almost inconceivable that they speak English as we know it.  Second of all, you can only "fake" your way through a conversation for so long until you finally give in to total humiliation, shame, and puppy-dog pleading eyes for some simple human understanding that you haven't completely lost your mind in a world where everyone seems to be speaking backwards, upside-down, and sideways all at the same time.

(Rather reminiscent of a bar just outside the Marseilles Docks (with an unbelievably untranslatable name - the kind of words that only make sense the more you drink, and - ironically - the less you pay actual attention to what you're doing), frequented by the mad military types who eat broken glass and take an interesting pride in their ability to spit up blood in artistic patterns.  But I digress.)

Someone once made a film (Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom) about a Chinese lad who wanted to escape to Ireland (but had never visited the place or knew anything about it), so he looked it up in the encyclopaedia where it said the national language was Irish Gaelic.  So, the young lad got himself books, tapes, etc., on how to speak the Gaelic and set about his task of learning it until he felt confident he could get by with real people.  Then, upon the aeroplane he went - to Dublin, home of Guinness, a rather dirty river, and a people whom the laws of Grammar forgot.

What his encyclopaedia had neglected to mention though, was that no one in the capital actually speaks or even knows any Irish Gaelic at all.  They were all force-fed the language in school (to supposedly save it from being forgotten during the evil 800 years of English occupation) in such an evil way, that all students developed a disgust, hatred and spite for the supposed national tongue.  On the odd chance you don't believe me, simply ask anyone who's Irish abroad (shouldn't be that hard to find a few) and ask them - can they speak Irish?  If they're from the city they'll just laugh at your assumption - they could care less about any such nonsense and will regale you with stories about how they and their friends went out of their way to disavow their so-called "national" language - so no, they couldn't speak it to save your aunty's aunt from the fires and plagues of Hell.

So what of our poor Chinese man?  Once he got over the shock that no one in the capital could understand him speaking "their own" tongue, he happily heads out West where the elderly, the demented, and the sheep still roam free, blathering about their lives in the ever-shrinking Gaeltacht to whomever may listen or understand.

So, you ask yourself, is this film true, or fiction?  Or perhaps intended as a sad sarcastic commentary by some bleeding heart liberal artistic-type who wouldn't know Real Life if it hit him in the plexus?  Essentially it's a pretty accurate state of affairs - in most of contemporary Ireland no one speaks, cares about, nor regrets forgetting everything they ever learned about Gaelic.  Do with that what you may.

The Scots, on the other hand, are a different kettle of fish - we won't get into them.  But trust me - Glaswegian girls do make for an interesting species of communicative humanity unto themselves - and especially when found in bars in the south of France where their fathers would never have wished they'd ever have imagined existing - never mind going to.

So yes, the Irishman talks of funny languages - none of them ever his own.  But you'd be surprised what I can do with a mouthful of blood and a nice clean canvas of a wall. :wink:
Last edited by Kilmatead on 2012 Jan 14, 00:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Tuxman » 2012 Jan 14, 00:56

I actually know someone who went to Dublin more than once and heard someone speaking Gaelic there. However, in Germany you won't find many people speaking German these days...
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 14, 01:13

Oh aye, it is spoken to be sure - mostly by the dead.  Dublin haunts itself in that healthy way only cities of the cruel past can do.  You won't hear it spoken here except as "show", or by (ironically) the tourists from the West.  Other than that, it simply doesn't exist - save on council Rubbish bins, or Bus Passenger Safety instructions.  Your friend heard only the ghosts of the country that only Irish-Americans believe still exists - in movies, books, and the cruel past.

Judging by what the telly says these days, Germany isn't long for this world, as your own economic policies will have the ravenous wolves of Europe tearing the meat from your bones soon anyway, and that will be that.  We can then sing songs of Beer and Wagner - and the Mighty Führer of the Sausage-people.  Will anyone mourn the passing besides a handful of architects and technicians?

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Post by Tuxman » 2012 Jan 14, 01:17

Yep - me.

On the other hand, I am a technician, so your question probably did not include me as a valid answer.
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 14, 01:22

Nah - technician is merely a mind-set - like the stereotype of a Japanese computer-whiz-kid.  Nationalism on the other hand is a dangerous disease borne of fear and self-hatred (masquerading as the "other").  I'd miss smoking cigarettes in the seasonal summer sun of the Bayreuther Festspiele or whatever it's called - a long long time ago in another life...

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Post by Tuxman » 2012 Jan 14, 02:12

Nationalism is the one thing that keeps a people alive. Don't mix it up with patriotism, the USA's brainfucked idea of radical nationalism on the cost of third-party cultures.
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 14, 02:33

Richard Marcus wrote:George Orwell wrote that nationalism was one of the worst enemies of peace. He defined nationalism as the feeling that your way of life, country, or ethnic group were superior to others. These types of feelings lead a group to attempt to impose their morality on any given situation. When those standards were not met, more often then not, war would result.

In contrast he stated that patriotism was the feeling of admiration for a way of life etc. and the willingness to defend it against attack. The obvious difference between the two is that while patriotism is a passive attitude, nationalism is aggressive by nature.
Or, academically, this.

Either way, it's the recourse of the insecure and fearful - I wouldn't even bother drawing a distinction between Nationalism or Patriotism - both are exclusive, clannish, and based on fear (what an insecure peoples might call "belonging").  Americans are by no means the only victims of this, merely the loudest, and the latest - thus, not a significant example.

I would run away from both words as quickly as possible.  Difficult to think for yourself if you're surrounded by people who agree with you.  What a horrible way to live, though a comforting way to die.

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Post by Tuxman » 2012 Jan 14, 02:55

Nationalism is not based on fear but on being proud. Nothing wrong with it. The French do it and they never even won a war. People tend to think nationalism is wrong because it sounds like national socialism, but the French are not nazis; also, the country that kills millions of people in wars it has declared before just to do this is patriotic, not nationalist.
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 14, 03:10

And Pride, quite rightly, has always been considered a sin (for a very good reason) - and I don't mean Sin in the religious sense - I mean it as an existential failing of one's basic interpretation of the world.  Always look deeper.

And Nationalism (like anything else that leads to a "shared grouping" of humans) is nothing but fear.  All things in this life are composed of Fear (think of Gravity and the attraction of atomic particles) - it's just that people have devised other words for them, to convince themselves not to see what's really there, and the darkness of their true selfish motivations.  All Nation-states deserve pity for their existence, and applause at their passing.  An unfortunate mistake of the past (those Greeks again) that got way out of hand - and now people actually take it for granted and consider it "natural", due either to a lack of imagination, or some fear of loneliness - only they can know which.

Pride receiveth nought but scorn by the free man.

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Post by Tuxman » 2012 Jan 14, 03:15

Shakespeare?

Without pride, "the Greeks" would not exist, nor the Irish probably. I mean, what makes a man a part of his people, if not his will to be one of them?
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 14, 03:18

Tuxman wrote:People tend to think nationalism is wrong because it sounds like national socialism.
You might ask the Algerians whether or not the French are Nazis to get a clearer answer to that.  (And I would never argue anything on a political stance, only philosophical - politics are always contemporary - and the contemporary is always [by definition] vaporous and intangible... beyond the limited grasp of human understanding, bereft of perspective.)

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Post by Tuxman » 2012 Jan 14, 03:21

Contemporary politics have in common that the majority of people thinks they're wrong.
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Post by Kilmatead » 2012 Jan 14, 03:33

Tuxman wrote:Shakespeare?
No, I just made that up.
Tuxman wrote:Without pride, "the Greeks" would not exist, nor the Irish probably. I mean, what makes a man a part of his people, if not his will to be one of them?
And why do you assume one's "will" automatically leads one to want to be a "part" of something larger?  That doesn't sound like "will" to me, that sounds like brainwashing - "come join our gang, we'll keep you safe".  Fear of "not belonging" is even worse than the "will" to belong.  Sickening, when exercised on a National level.

The necessity of the existence of the Greeks or the Irish or anyone else is not part of my argument (I don't consider the existence of "identity" as being a significant factor of "will"), nor would I ascribe any value to such a thing.  Greeks are useful as they give us x2.  Irish are useful because they just say "feck off" to everything.  Germans are useful because they design nice engines.  The French are useful as an experiment in sarcastic arrogance. None of these superficial things have a true value, however, in the sphere of real "will" (on the personal level).
Tuxman wrote:Contemporary politics have in common that the majority of people thinks they're wrong.
I have always maintained that anything the majority of people agree upon (aside from Pizza) is, by definition, a bad thing.

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