April
20th 2010
Holiday snaps, part I

Posted under: bad language, fluff, Gender, unhappy endings

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting some of the most interesting things I saw on my spring vacation (at last)!  Here are two:

For those of you who read this language, I can only ask, “well, is it, punk?  (For those of you who don’t, I can translate loosely:  Is our work valued the same?, and underneath is says To eliminate the wage gap between women and men, and directs readers to this website.)  Apparently in this country, they haven’t yet closed the wage gap between men and women, and the government presumes that the citizenry would like to do something about it!  Sacre bleu! 

Now, for this photo:  needless to say, I couldn’t disagree with Homer more.  Speaking ill of the dead–it’s my job, Homie, in any language you choose!  I have never understood the piety that some historians have for the dead, when presumptive impiety is the only way we can do our jobs correctly.  I’ll be dead some day, and I’d be mortified (pun intended!) to think that anyone was pious on my behalf.  Gimme a break.

11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Holiday snaps, part I”

  1. Notorious Ph.D. on 20 Apr 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Isn’t today something like “women’s equal pay day” in the U.S.? Let me check…

    http://www.pay-equity.org/day.html

    The day when women’s earnings catch up to men’s earnings from the previous year.

    Timely post, in other words.

  2. rootlesscosmo on 20 Apr 2010 at 10:12 am #

    The comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley had a wonderful line:

    “They say you shouldn’t say anything but good about the dead. [pause] He’s dead. [slightly longer pause] Good.”

  3. Tom on 20 Apr 2010 at 10:19 am #

    I think our task as interpreters of the past is to try our best to tell the truth about the past (to the degree that imperfect human understanding can ever hope to approach truth): any dead folks (or their heirs) who feel “insulted” by our sincere attempts at truth-telling need to get over it, or even better gently prompt us towards greater truths by their own equally sincere efforts. Lying about the past or the dead is the greater impiety.

  4. Historiann on 20 Apr 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Tom: “Lying about the past or the dead is the greater impiety.” Well put.

    rootlesscosmo and Notorious: LOLSOB! (That is, thanks for laughs–LOL–and the reminder, SOB.)

  5. Trudy on 20 Apr 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    When I was growing up, the thing was that one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead because the dead cannot defend themselves. Well, one can’t really defend oneself from gossip told behind one’s back either, and it happens. So what? Moreover, it’s a matter of opinion, so might call it the truth, some might call it “ill speak” … it’s silly. The dead don’t become sacred just because they are dead. One can speak one’s opinion. Plus, they probably don’t care anymore either!

  6. Comrade PhysioProf on 20 Apr 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Fuck the dead. What are they gonna do to me?

  7. Comrade PhysioProf on 20 Apr 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Holy fuck! No more moderation? FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Matt L on 21 Apr 2010 at 7:11 am #

    I think speaking ill of the dead is something like lying about the dead. Of course, slander is wrong (and tacky) whether the person is dead or alive.

    There is such a thing as ‘victor’s history,’ which is also a violation of the truth. Gloating over the failures and crimes of others to make ones own sins seem smaller in comparison; hagiographies of the 40th President of the United States; falsifying the historical record by making up interviews – these are not only impieties against the past, they rob the present as well.

  9. jamie on 21 Apr 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    Just so you know, Historiann, those same ads are also in the UK and in Germany (and possibly elsewhere, but that is where I saw them), in the tube and U-bahn stations respectively, with the same people but the words in the native language. So it seems like an EU-wide ad campaign. I was quite excited when I saw it!

  10. Historiann on 22 Apr 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Yes–the website is an EU website. Good for Europeans. A similar campaign in the U.S. is totally unimaginable to me.

  11. Julia on 24 Apr 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    So what’s this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/30/us/politics/30ledbetter-web.html

    all about?

    I am very interested in hearing your thoughts, Historiann! When you have time, of course.