> From [log in to unmask] Sun Dec 22 16:27:10 1996
> Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 13:20:46 -0800
> From: Lee Thompson-Herbert <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: insult songs [was: FW: "Crooked" Set Dances (16 inst.)]
> ghost <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> > Writing a song putting down your mentor is fine, if you really want to
> > do it, if you have your reasons. Spontaneously composing a song putting
> > down your mentor & singing it to him **as part of an assignment in a contest**
> > is ridiculous, & very obnoxious.
> > If you think its bigotry, fine. Its not. There are probably things I
> > would find to admire in this particular culture, but this sure isn't one of
> > them.
> I take it you don't approve of the british/irish practice of slagging
> among friends either, then. Most americans find it "rude" or "insensitive."
> That _is_ a value judgement made out of cultural biases. I sometimes
> think that many of my fellow americans have had their sense of humor
> amputated lest they offend someone.
I think you & I have different ideas about what's funny.
Why do you have to offend someone to be funny?
And what's *funny* about offending someone?
I think most of that slagging *isn't* very friendly, & isn't intended to
be, either. Its power-struggle-in-the-big-forest junk. Either you're very
rude but so tough that no-one will call you on it, or you're so *very* funny
that the toughies just sort of throw up their hands & let you live.
The stuff I saw on this TV show may have been artfully phrased, rhymed, had
the right amount of stanzas etc for the competition, but from the looks on
their faces & tones of their voices, as well as the translation, no-one was
saying anything very funny.
> If you want to think of it from a social systems point of view, there's
> nothing particularly wrong with voice agressions and frustrations _in
> a controlled environment_. A song contest is a very controlled environment,
> because the only insults that are acceptable must be artful. Anything
> else is "bad form."
This went way beyond "the dozens".
I think an insult-contest is very, very weird. The whole point of
insulting someone is that they *deserve* to be insulted; what's the point
if you're going to have your victim *assigned* to you, & it even turns
out to be someone you *like*, or were assumed to like?
I don't think much of "I can argue any side" debators, either.