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In "bears poop in woods" news, unintentional racism is still not benign - Sauntering Vaguely Downward [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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In "bears poop in woods" news, unintentional racism is still not benign [20160605|21:30]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Last week* on my London evening I went to BBC Broadcasting House with one of my work colleagues, because I had tickets to a recording of The Museum of Curiosity. The idea behind this radio show is that three eminent guests donate exhibits to the imaginary museum after being interviewed by host John Lloyd and the curator. The curator position rotates between comedians. At the time of this recording, it was Noel Fielding. Phil Jupitus and Sarah Millican have previously curated. The guests on this occasion were another comedian, a composer and an architect.

The show seems to make an effort to have at least one woman as an eminent guest, which is rather nice. Unfortunately, I found the one female guest - the architect - actively cringe-making.

She was the last one of the three guests to be interviewed. It turned out that she had originally trained as a medic and practised for a short while as a GP. Then she went to India to spend a month in a leper** colony on an island, and it was there that she determined that she needed to completely change her career and become an "experimental architect". So she could revolutionise the way Western people live, because all our buildings are "dead" and we're locked into worship of machines and we need to learn from people who can make amazing things out of sticks and shit because they've got nothing else, or something. I don't know. Anyway, she actually didn't say the words, "Desperately poor and ill brown people are, like, so inspiring." Make no mistake, though, that was exactly what she meant. I didn't stand up and scream your racism is unintentional but it is not benign, but believe me, it took every ounce of my strength not to. Instead, I withheld my applause when she concluded. I also left a sardonic review of the event in the survey I was e-mailed after the recording, mentioning that they might want to make an effort to vett their guests for offensively colonial 19th century views.

Sometimes I think I've assimilated into British culture a bit too well.

* I've been wanting to post about this since that evening but every time I sat down to do it, nothing but a stream of incoherent rage would come out. So please don't make the mistake of thinking that, because the tone in this is pretty level, that I'm not still very bloody angry about it.
** I did glean some small amusement when one of the other guests - the composer - gently rebuked her afterward for referring to it as leprosy instead of Hansen's disease.


This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/1030641.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: attimes_bracing
2016-06-05 21:56 (UTC)
After over 3.5 years in Cambodia the number of bleeding heart gap yah rich kids really got up my nose.

No we don't have a sign saying this way to help the orphans, we'd rather they lived in homes and not in collective zoos for foreigners to gawp at.

You haven't brought any skills so you rate below the sweaty bloke with no teeth but a pipe wrench who can get the generator firing.

You really want to improve someone's life? Teach some English to the working girls so they can negotiate a better price tonight and take tomorrow night off. Talk to them, they're people like you and I don't turn your nose up at how they make their money.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-06-06 21:16 (UTC)
Yeah. That's analagous. And equally infuriating too.
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[User Picture]From: mysterysquid
2016-06-06 09:28 (UTC)
GGGRH.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-06-06 21:13 (UTC)
Yeah, I keep thinking that. :/
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