Let's see, Wendy summed up the first posts so beautifully:
"Razib Ahmed posted about life during the economic recession. Then it was Benjamin Solah with the view that nationalism is racism. Then Fresh Hell chimed in from Virginia with a post about racial relations."
And of course, Wendy wrote about covert racism and things people say, little adages, that are spoken in casual conversation. So I'm going to take that idea and run with it. (I sure don't envy Kat Frass who comes after me.)
I love learning proverbs, old sayings and superstitions especially here in Japan where the culture is so different from my own. I've just got to share my favorite one so far.
I was with my in-laws walking through some hills when we came across a worm crossing the path. My mother-in-law takes great pride in teaching me all the things I do not know or understand. She stopped me with a hand across my chest and says:
"Don't pee on it."
Really, how to respond to a comment like that? She then went on to tell me that back in the day little boys would pee on worms and then suddenly their 'members' would swell up and start to painfully itch. I told her first, I'm a girl, and second, I normally didn't relieve myself on animals, big or small. I don't think she was convinced.
That bugged (sweet, sweet pun) me for years. What was the reasoning behind such a superstitian? I was bothered that is until one day I saw a show on TV actually proving that one type of worm shoots out a kind of poison which travels up the urine stream and well, causing swelling and pain.
It's in Japanese (sorry) but here's the explanation. And here's a bunch of people (men) who evidently had this experience. One guy even peed on a frog and had the same thing happen.
"Dude, cut it out."
No moral really. I don't think anyone actually pees on worms. Just, you know, I hate it when my mother-in-law is right.
Here's a list of the entire chain. Kat Frass is up next.
the Cliterature blog