greenie_breizh: (full of words)
[personal profile] greenie_breizh
I'm going to try this new thing where I post more regularly, which hopefully could mean fewer massive posts. (I'm sure it's not going to happen, but one can hope!) So, let's give this a go with only two links today. :)

- That's Not Twain, a NYTimes opinion piece on the new version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that's coming out next month, in which the word "nigger" has been changed to the word "slave". I won't go on forever, partly because the piece says it well enough on its own: "Substituting the word 'slave' makes it sound as though all the offense lies in the “n-word” and has nothing to do with the institution of slavery." I'm worried that this, to some extent, sanitizes the U.S.'s racist past (especially that of the South) and it will only encourage a re-envisioning of that past as not only incongruent with the present (racism was then, now we don't put that word in our books!) but also as really not that bad.

- Immigration Rules Tightened For Gay Couples in Canada. Again, the piece really says it all; this decision is problematic on so many levels, and clearly singles out a group with no actual rationale. If you're worried about marriages of convenience, believe me, most of them are probably straight marriages. Ugh. I feel like this partly comes from this stupid place that make people believe that if same-sex marriage is authorized, same-sex friends will start marrying everywhere. Re: ugh.

EDIT: Reading the actual policy, it sounds like all that CIC clarified is that if you were married OUTSIDE Canada, the marriage needs to be legal in the country you were married for it to be recognized in Canada and thus be the basis for your spouse to sponsor you. If you're married in Canada, you're good to go, even if one of you is from the UK, say. What is confusing about this "clarification" is that the only way you could have gotten married outside Canada is if you live somewhere where marriage is legal... I realize there are a few, localized instances where people were married even though the marriage wasn't legal (SF in the U.S. in 2004, Noël Mamère in France the same year) but that seems to be such a tiny number that it doesn't really qualify as a loophole, nor would it be a way to address a supposed spike in spousal applications, or marriages of convenience... so, I'm confused. If someone has a better idea what's going on, I'd love to hear it.

Date: 2011-01-08 12:09 am (UTC)
beyondtherubicon: (live my life like a story)
From: [personal profile] beyondtherubicon
I've been reading a lot about the Huckleberry Finn update and the more I read the less it sits well with me. I feel bad for anyone hurt by the language in the book but even more so I don't think literature's purpose is to be safe. You also bring up an excellent point about how the past shouldn't be sanitized.

What peeves me the most is the light this shines on the education system here in America and the apparent unwillingness of many teachers to use this book as a lesson in history, changing attitudes and the power of words.

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November 2011

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