“Asian” Semantic Hypocrisy

I had written on this before, but today I noticed that the Asian People page on Wikipedia has a not-worldwide-view flag, which I agree with because the article definitely has the tone of being predominantly written by an American.

The term Oriental is all but taboo in North America as somehow being offensive because it is Eurocentric, yet the same people who eschew it find nothing wrong with saying Middle-East. (One would think this attitude by Americans of obsequiousness to Orientals and abasing Middle-Easterners would make sense given the political climate and international relations, however as the article stated, the conference took place in 1968, long before either the U.S.’ insurmountable debt to China or its ablating relations with the Middle-East.)

That hypocrisy has always irritated me, especially since in North America, the term Asian is used pretty much exclusively to refer to the Far-East (which I suppose is, or at least should be as “offensive” as Oriental). This co-opting of the term that should refer to anyone from the largest continent on the world by one half of it (no matter how many people may be packed into it) is more offensive than any Eurocentricity since it is basically an affront to people from dozens of countries across the rest of the continent.

(Of course, I grew up and learned the names of the continents before the explosion of over-political-correctness that infected North America later on. Aside from the hypocrisy, personally I like the term Oriental because it has that exciting air of mystery whereas Asian is so bland.)

Flip-Flop This!

It aggrivates me to no end when the media rags on a politician (or candidate) for “flip-flopping”. That term is ridiculous and should stop being used altogether.

When a politician (or anyone really) is accused of flip-flopping, it is always in a derogatory way, implying that they are merely kowtowing to popular belief instead of standing by their own convictions and thus are not acceptable candidates.

The problem is that this absurd practice of accusing people of flip-flopping forces them to choose a side on an issue and lock into it come Hell or high water. Nevermind if new information comes to light that shows that your side is no longer correct, you must stick with it lest you be called a flip-flopper. It does not matter if new research shows that the opposite side is better, you must stick with the lesser choice or else you will be tagged as a flip-flopper. (Of course the side-effect is that if you don’t “flip-flop”, you are now endorsing the side that has been proven to be bad; damned if you do, damned if you don’t.)

Stop it! People can change their minds if they want to. Things change and a good candidate is one that can keep up and adapt as necessary. In fact most candidates run on platforms of change! Stop using that pathetic term and allow candidates to change as the world does, or else you are only doing yourself harm by tying their hands and making them afraid to adapt to new developments.

Why The Push To Vote?

This past year has seen a lot of pressure to vote. Politicians, musicians, actors, athletes, and pretty much anyone who has any celebrity has been pushing voting like a back alley drug dealer pushing crack. Why? Well, if you do vote and the winner makes your life miserable, they can just say “Hey, you voted for me!” The blame then falls on yourself instead of them. Of course if you don’t vote and they do a terrible job then they’ll say “You should have voted for the other guy!” but this latter argument is weaker so they go with the former.

It’s quite clever really, they avoid blame no matter what you do. Maybe it’s just me but isn’t the government supposed to exist for the purpose of making the lives of it’s citizens better? Should not they they be doing the work rather than putting the onus on the people? If the current regime is not working shouldn’t it be their responsibility to fix it rather than expect the people to completely replace it? Of course I don’t propose an entirely self-sufficient government where the people have no input or power, I just think the government should not be trying to scapegoat on it’s citizens.