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  #21  
Old 23 March 2011, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
But FWIW, and in contrast to Europe, it's my understanding, Roma people who have come to the US have mostly assimilated, and are not itinerant. The one who came over during the huge wave of European immigration from 1880-1930 intermarried after a generation or so, and in the 21st century, the US does not have a significant Roma population that is itinerant; the ones that are, are more of a living museum, and sort of put on an old-world show, which means that people in the US don't find them a nuisance, like Europeans still do.
Comparatively few Romanies are itinerant anywhere now. Something like 30%, IIRC. It's more likely in countries where they are less persecuted, but where there are fewer of them. Mainly it is a result of the travelling having been criminalised; perhaps not directly, but if no legal campsites are offered, there's little practical difference.
I don't know much about US Romanies specifically, but I think they are mostly from South-Eastern Europe? Maybe not as intermarried as you might expect, if they stay traditional. Apparently the language is still fairly widespread, which is one indication. Certainly, although most of the British Romany population is non-nomadic, cultural differences remain which, although important, might not be obvious from the outside.
There's also the weird dichotomy of people finding them a nuisance and at the same time wanting the olde worlde show. They like to watch a painted vardo go past, but godforbid it should camp up in your village.

Incidentally (although you might well know this anyway, I find it interesting), they were not originally nomadic (at least, after the original migration) but as a response to being continually 'run out of town' on a grand scale. Likewise their 'traditional' occupations.

Anecdotal, but I've heard people from the US express astonishment that gypsies really exist. "I thought they were only in fairy tales."
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  #22  
Old 23 March 2011, 06:40 PM
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Also, I just remembered there was a really stupid episode of Criminal Minds, where a Romany family was on a murder spree so they could kidnap girls to be potential wives for their 10 or so year old son. It was offensively stupid. There was something made of this not being how most Romanies behave, but not much- and if that was significant, why did they have to be gypsies in the first place? It was just like the old child-stealing rumours, updated. I recall it seemed to have some Romany/Romanian confusion going on too.
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  #23  
Old 23 March 2011, 06:48 PM
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Anecdotal, but I've heard people from the US express astonishment that gypsies really exist. "I thought they were only in fairy tales."
I've heard "I thought they died out." Just anecdotal too, though.

I could well have a false impression of how many Romany intermarried, but that would be because those I'd tend to meet would be very much assimilated. I have never heard of Romany neighborhoods, like Harlem, or Crown Heights, or something, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I don't personally know anyone who claims to be from a pure, unadulterated Roma line, but I do know a few people with a parent or grandparent, or family thereof, who immigrated. And no, I don't think it's like being "1/16th Cherokee princess."*


*Joke you hear, actually from Native Americans sometimes, as a reference the stereotypical US citizen making pretenses about having Native American heritage, because it sounds cool. Most Americans can't name very many tribes, but have heard of the Cherokee, and there is no such thing as a Cherokee princess.
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  #24  
Old 23 March 2011, 06:56 PM
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Also, I just remembered there was a really stupid episode of Criminal Minds, where a Romany family was on a murder spree so they could kidnap girls to be potential wives for their 10 or so year old son. It was offensively stupid.
That's probably what I was thinking of. I may have confabulated it with the CI episode about the travelling Irish-- which doesn't sound familiar, but they tend to blend.

I recall it not being significantly more stupid than most Criminal Minds episodes-- I watch the show like a train wreck, to see if this week's stupid tops last week's stupid, and what new, fancy double-speak they'll dress the stupid up in. But that episode did have some offensive, that was out of character even for that show.

"The UnSub is a white male, aged 25-40, unemployed, or working a job that gives him lots of free time."

Thanks. Next time we'll ask Allison DuBois. Or get a magic 8-ball.
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  #25  
Old 23 March 2011, 07:37 PM
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Yeah, to back up what others have said, I live in Seattle (well, the Seattle area), which is pretty much the center of Hippielandia, and I shop fairly regularly at Whole Foods, which is pretty much the center of Libtown in the center of Hippielandia, and even *there* I don't get scolded for asking for paper. Methinks the glurge author is projecting a wee bit. Which is surprising because that is something that you never, ever see happening in glurge. I defy anyone to post a single example of this in action.
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  #26  
Old 23 March 2011, 07:39 PM
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I don't like nostalgia glurge. It's probably one of my least favorite forms. (Not that there are many good forms of glurge, but nostalgic ones really set my teeth on edge). In the first place, as many have mentioned they only mention the good things that happened but ignore the bad from that time period. Also, I wonder how many of them were actually written by people who actually lived in that time period or by people who idealized that time period as an innocent time before they were born. For example, I got into a discussion once with my sister about the '60's which she idealizes and I said some critical things about the hippies and she said something like "You weren't there." I had to remind her that "Neither were you!" (She was born in 1979)
If they were written by someone from that time period they also could have been looking through the lens of when they were children. Things seemed a lot more innocent and ideal then because many children were sheltered from the troubles and even if they weren't the further one is removed from them, the more idyllic they seem.
It's like that magazine Reminisce, which is chock full of articles about innocent times, good morals and manners, idyllic days of the Great Depression or the 1950's. I always said to my Mom, "Just once I would like to read an article about "I remember Segregation!" or "My Father was on the Blacklist!" or something like that.

It reminds me of a quote I once heard from a writer, I think it was Jean Shepherd. Maybe it was Garrison Keiller. Either way it was:
"There were no good old days. There were just days."
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  #27  
Old 23 March 2011, 07:45 PM
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If they were written by someone from that time period they also could have been looking through the lens of when they were children. Things seemed a lot more innocent and ideal then because many children were sheltered from the troubles and even if they weren't the further one is removed from them, the more idyllic they seem.
Example: Haley Barbour talking about how things in pre-Civil Rights Era Mississippi were really good. Um, yeah, Haley, for you -- you were a kid, and you were white.

My mom is 91, and when people start grumbling about how much cheaper things were 20 or 40 or 60 years ago, she likes to say "Yeah, and how much money did you make back then?"
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  #28  
Old 23 March 2011, 07:49 PM
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I know there's a certain amount of secrecy, not so much hiding one's identity or 'passing' but not being out-and-proud Romany because of potential hostility. (Or to avoid stupid questions). If they're people you're friendly with though that's probably not happening, of ourse.

There's also of a distinction between Romanies who live in actual houses, who I suppose would be assimilated, and those who, though they aren't travelling, live in 'non-permanent' settlements (mobile homes and such) that are mostly their own people. Do you know if that happens in the US? Might be an immigration aftereffect, if not.
I gather it's not so much a blood issue as culture, and for a long time that would have been far more important; without much emphasis on writing things down, or the difficulty of transporting records, you go more on who knows who and will speak for them rather than who's 'pure' or not. I have Romany ancestry but I'm a gadja regardless, because I wasn't raised in that culture, although I take an interest and I will mention it in response to folk being idiots (either to gauge how much spine they have, or to warn them not to be idiots around me). Also complicated by the way that most of the gadje who were really into in Romany genealogy did not have their best interests in mind.
There also isn't the question of enrollment through blood degree as with federally-recognised tribes.

I've encountered a few Cherokee Princesses, unfortunately. They really did use that term.
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  #29  
Old 23 March 2011, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Auburn Red View Post
If they were written by someone from that time period they also could have been looking through the lens of when they were children. Things seemed a lot more innocent and ideal then because many children were sheltered from the troubles and even if they weren't the further one is removed from them, the more idyllic they seem.
Of course that's true. The 70s were a great time to be a child, in general. We'd stopped getting measles and polio, and didn't have stranger danger, or satanic panic yet. You could go barefoot into the A&P-- of course, there were people in there smoking, holding butts at your face-level, too. There were still plenty of people who thought girls shouldn't be in Little League, but if you were lucky to be in a liberal family, in a good-sized town, you didn't know that.

But I was not a kid in a wheelchair-- or a kid who had a parent in a wheelchair-- or a kid whose parents were divorced, and whose father didn't bother to pay child support.

I don't read too much glurge that specifically idealizes the 1940s, but if I do, I'm going to give them a copy of Maus, then tell them about food rationing, and kids whose fathers died fighting WWII.
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  #30  
Old 23 March 2011, 07:52 PM
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I vaguely remember hearing adults talk about "gypsies" staying at campgrounds when I was kid, 40 years ago. But it's been decades since I've heard anything about Roma in the US. Irish Travellers make the news now and then.
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  #31  
Old 23 March 2011, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Pudding Crawl View Post
Do you know if that happens in the US? Might be an immigration aftereffect, if not.
I imagine a immigration after-effect, at least in part, because people arrived without a lot, and wouldn't have been able to buy some kind of mobile transport right away. If a person arrived with family already here, and travelling, they have to meet up with them somehow.

Arriving in the US usually meant finding space in a tenement, or a cot someone would rent you in their tenement, and taking the first job you could get, then working your butt off.
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I've encountered a few Cherokee Princesses, unfortunately. They really did use that term.
It's usually 1/16th Cherokee Princess.
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  #32  
Old 23 March 2011, 08:19 PM
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Yes, that's what I was thinking. No one just off the boat is really going to have startup capital, and you can't really carry on your travelling seasonal work in a big metropolis.

Well, 1/16th, or my x-great-grandma was a 'bona fide' Cherokee Princess. Although some of them were into past lives, so...
Unfortunately I met these people when I knew nothing, nothing about indigenous Americans... fortunately, coming from somewhere which has actual- and very dull- princesses has taken any possible shine off them for me. Even though I was otherwise clueless then I do remember thinking why you never got Princesses from any other tribes.

Perhaps the attitude towards 'Indians' here mirrors that of gypsies in the US. They're either mostly dead, so make an interesting living history display if you do encounter one, or only in stories where they're magical and live in cupboards.
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  #33  
Old 23 March 2011, 08:32 PM
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Of course that's true. The 70s were a great time to be a child, in general. We'd stopped getting measles and polio, and didn't have stranger danger, or satanic panic yet.
I know you're not saying otherwise but I just wanted to point out that neither of these memes ever existed in the 80s and beyond except in the minds of too-concerned parents. Satanic child abuse cults were a particularly nasty witch-hunt centering in the 80s and 90s.

Anyway, my memory of childhood in the late 70s and 80s was that it was a'ight, but man oh man would I have traded out our Atari for a Nintendo or a Playstation. And the movies and television made for kids are SO much better now than they were back then, it's not even funny.
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  #34  
Old 23 March 2011, 08:41 PM
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I know you're not saying otherwise but I just wanted to point out that neither of these memes ever existed in the 80s and beyond except in the minds of too-concerned parents. Satanic child abuse cults were a particularly nasty witch-hunt centering in the 80s and 90s.
Oh, I'm completely aware that no children were ever ritually abused for satan in their daycares, and run-of-the-mill abuse (yes, I'm trying to be sardonic) in daycares was much rarer than parental abuse. I'm also aware that "stranger danger" was all hype. But kids in elementary schools in the 1980s and early 1990s really did have to sit through stranger danger programs that were scary and paranoia-inducing, and have to go to "don't let people touch your private places" programs that had some of them questioning whether it was OK for their parents to bathe them. I babysat a lot then, and kids used to tell me about the scary things they heard in school (or, their spin on it, which if nothing else, demonstrated that the programs were not well-thought out).

Satanic panic was a witch hunt.

Every so often, when I'm feeling especially tinfoil hattish, I think it was a plot to scare women into quitting jobs to stay home with their children.

The point is not whether there was any truth behind them, but that they were unhappy things for kids at the time to endure.
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  #35  
Old 23 March 2011, 11:13 PM
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Oh, I'm completely aware that no children were ever ritually abused for satan in their daycares, and run-of-the-mill abuse (yes, I'm trying to be sardonic) in daycares was much rarer than parental abuse. I'm also aware that "stranger danger" was all hype. But kids in elementary schools in the 1980s and early 1990s really did have to sit through stranger danger programs that were scary and paranoia-inducing, and have to go to "don't let people touch your private places" programs that had some of them questioning whether it was OK for their parents to bathe them. I babysat a lot then, and kids used to tell me about the scary things they heard in school (or, their spin on it, which if nothing else, demonstrated that the programs were not well-thought out).

Satanic panic was a witch hunt.

Every so often, when I'm feeling especially tinfoil hattish, I think it was a plot to scare women into quitting jobs to stay home with their children.

The point is not whether there was any truth behind them, but that they were unhappy things for kids at the time to endure.
Not to mention anti-drug programs that made kids think there were dealers on every street corner and hiding behind trees, and classmates who would pressure you to try drugs and wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

I am so glad I grew up when I did...*sigh*
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  #36  
Old 23 March 2011, 11:16 PM
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I was born in 1961, and we had some "drug education" sessions. This was years before DARE. IIRC, a cop would come in and do a show-and-tell of various drug paraphernalia and what the drugs looked like -- it as much as a how-to as anything.
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  #37  
Old 23 March 2011, 11:29 PM
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I remember drug education being just that. Here is what drugs do to your body. This is what chemical properties they have, why they make you high, why this one, or that one is addicting, exactly what the process of addiction is from a neurochemical standpoint-- why withdrawal can give you the shakes, that sort of thing-- why it's hard to quit once you start. The implicit message was "You can do without them," but we really were left to come to that conclusion as a result of the information. It's true we didn't have any counterpoint, or critical analyses of drug studies, but still, it wasn't just reciting slogans.

I missed DARE by about five years, and thank goodness. That was pretty much religious indoctrination. There was no information, other than "Drugs are horrible, they'll kill you, users are losers."

Aside from the ethical problems with indoctrinating children into any kind of mindset, the problem with that sort of extremism, is that it isn't true, and that will come to light. Pot doesn't inevitably lead to harder drugs, harder drugs don't always kill you or make you a hopeless, non-functioning addict, and you're not always hooked after the first time. Kids will eventually find one of these things out, and then the rest of the DARE stuff falls like dominos, and for some kids, so does their trust in their schools, and even adults in general.
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  #38  
Old 24 March 2011, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Of course that's true. The 70s were a great time to be a child, in general. We'd stopped getting measles and polio, and didn't have stranger danger, or satanic panic yet. You could go barefoot into the A&P-- of course, there were people in there smoking, holding butts at your face-level, too.
Don't forget pop tops on the beaches so kids can slice their feet open and get sand in their lacerations, all in one fell swoop!
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  #39  
Old 24 March 2011, 12:40 AM
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Baby walkers that could easily fall down stairs. Cribs and playpens with slats wide apart enough to choke a baby.

And lawn darts!
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  #40  
Old 24 March 2011, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Aside from the ethical problems with indoctrinating children into any kind of mindset, the problem with that sort of extremism, is that it isn't true, and that will come to light. Pot doesn't inevitably lead to harder drugs, harder drugs don't always kill you or make you a hopeless, non-functioning addict, and you're not always hooked after the first time. Kids will eventually find one of these things out, and then the rest of the DARE stuff falls like dominos, and for some kids, so does their trust in their schools, and even adults in general.
I think that the effectiveness of the DARE program is shown by how many kids attend raves & jam bands wearing DARE shirts; ironically. And yes I am a former raver and a former DARE kid.
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