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[Xmca-l] Re: Halloween, Yale and other complications



Thanks for the link, Peter! I will hear it.



It is curious how Halloween became a mirror of how difficult is to deal
with cultural and other differences.

When is a costume celebratory and when is a costume offensive? There is not
clear-cut line.

One wears a costume because one is borrowing other (living or dead)
person’s identity to play a game. Indeed, wearing a costume always involves
some sort of pretense. I pretend to be somebody else as a part of an
activity that intends to be non-serious and involves and agreed (or
collaborative) suspension of the rules regulating social life.

Problem is we all take our (cultural, other) identities quite seriously.
Yet, if we don't suspend the serious rules we adhere to build our
identities at some point in our daily lives there is no chance at all to
make a costume party. And if we can’t make a costume party, we may become
not only boring but eventually fundamentalist.

Therefore, there has to be room to play, to make a costume party, at least
in a society that allows for some difference.

Question remains, how far can we go in this game so it does not become an
aggression instead of a celebration of difference. If we set up rules, as
some people made at Yale, we kill the party. If we don’t, we risk an
identity conflict. There is no clear way out of this.


On Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 5:09 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:

> In case anyone's interested, I recently was a guest on the Atlanta NPR
> station, talking about political correctness (the implicit theme of David's
> article on Yale).
> 2015 WABE (NPR) 90.5FM Atlanta: College PC Culture: It’s Not About
> Offending But Respecting
> http://news.wabe.org/post/college-pc-culture-it-s-not-about-offending-respecting
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David Preiss
> Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 2:22 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Halloween, Yale and other complications
>
> And so it goes with Halloween... It seems that this holiday is becoming a
> college issue. Here, a college master (I never liked the term because of
> the slavery implications it has), got in trouble because it did something
> different than the other university president: she asked the students to
> think independently. And the students were, of course, disgusted because of
> the request.
>
>
> http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-new-intolerance-of-student-activism-at-yale/414810/
>
>