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Just Memein' Around

This is from telperion1, and it amused my socks. I have a feeling that the person who wrote this meme would probably find me utterly foreign. Amusing foreign or off-putting foreign would probably depend on how much I'd turned on the charm that day.

1. Ethnicity

a. Do you feel your ethnicity is a large part of your life?

Well, yes. It's informed my academic specialty, and it informs much of my personal life. So, yeah.

b.What is your ethnicity?

Ashkenazi Jewish.

c.Is your ethnicity distinct from your national identity?

Yes.

d.Do you speak the same language your Grandparents spoke?
e.Great great Grandparents?

What, we're skipping the great grandparents here? Don't they deserve some love?

As to the question . . . between them, my ancestors for the past few generations have spoken various combinations of English, German, Russian, and Yiddish. I speak three of those languages (English, German, and Yiddish), though only English is my native language. I am also proud to have some command of languages that my ancestors did not have, Hebrew and Spanish.

I suspect this says less about my ties to my ethnic background than my penchant for hoarding languages.


f.Do you have a feeling of solidarity or even simple recognition for people of similar backgrounds?

Not really. People is people. There are some Ashkenazi Jews who are real jerks, and I have no impulse to form a siblingy bond with them simply because we are of the same religion and our ancestors were driven out of the same area of the world.


g. What part does the perception of race play in your understanding of your own ethnicity?

"The" perception of race? What is "the" perception of race? As far as the U.S. census is concerned, I'm white. As far as, say, David Duke is concerned, I'm a mud person. As far as a former coworker is concerned (though only up until I'd known her for a few hours and had time to rearrange her thinking on this), I'm a mysterious alien Other. I don't think there is one perception of race as far as my own ethnicity is concerned. I have better things to do than think about what race I am.

h. Do you feel your ethnicity is a matter of "blood" or descendency or do you feel it is cultural?

I only wish it were blood. Then maybe I'd have some magical mystical woo-woo force that would assist me in remembering the past tense of some of the more exotic Hebrew binyans.

Cultural

2. Politics

a.Do you follow politics?

Sometimes.

b.Are your politics similar to or wildly divergent from those your parents espoused when you were growing up?

Pretty similar. Not that we ever discussed politics much. But all four Ponies voted for the same person in our respective primaries this year.

c.Do you feel your personal politics spring more from how you perceive your needs or from your personal morality?

No. I don't believe that politicians cater to my needs, and my personal morality isn't defined enough to generate personal politics.

d.Do you feel that any political party or movement truly represents your values?

No. If they did, it'd be a political party of one. That's not how political parties work. They have their own platforms, and you choose the one that fits you the best out of what's on offer. If you choose to form your own, then other people will do the same thing, and the party will evolve to be an amalgam of the values of many different people.

e.Do you feel any particular political party is looking out for your interests?

Not unless there's a political party called the "Help French Pony Get Her Ph.D." Party.

And I probably wouldn't vote for them, anyway.

f. Have you studied history? How has this affected your political view?

Yes.

It's made my political view more cynical.

3. Sex

a. Do you feel sex is a moral issue?

Not in general.

b. Do you ascribe an inherent value to virginity?

No.

c. Do you feel that some sexual thoughts/feelings/or behaviors are acceptable for one gender but not for another?

No.

d. Is the "forbidden" somehow more sexually exciting for you?

No.

e. Do you tend to be more passive or aggressive sexually?

No.

f. Do you think celibate people are "better" people or simply have less of a sex drive?

I don't think they're necessarily "better." Some probably do have a low sex drive. Others have bad luck. Others have standards that they can't meet in the area where they live. At least one is a priest, and several more are nuns.

g. Do you feel sex between two consenting adults can be "wrong"?

As long as it's true consent, no.

h. Do you believe there are any inherent differences between the minds of men and women?

Yes. Women understand me when I say "this window wants curtains." But aside from curtains, no other differences.

i. Do you think strangers can have satisfying sex?

Given that the world's population is six billion and growing fast, I'm sure that people I don't know have satisfying sex all the time . . .

Oh! You meant, do I think that people who don't know each other can have satisfying sex with each other?

Sure. Why not? If both parties get what they want out of the sex, then that's great and satisfying.

j. Conversely do you think it is possible to have sex with the same person for 30 years and still find it exciting and fullfilling? What about hot?

Well, there are marriages that last thirty years, and a non-zero percentage of them must meet this condition. So, sure, it's possible.


4. Food

a. Do you cook?

Yes. Quite well.

b. Do you feel the use of mixes and prepared foodstuffs is a moral question?

Anyone who would think to ask this question has too much time on their hands. There is a reason that God invented mixes and prepared foodstuffs.

c. How often do you eat meals outside the home?

Lunch at least once a week. Dinner more rarely. If we include homemade leftovers brown-bagged to school, then every day.

d. How often do you have a sit down meal at home?

Two or three times a day. Breakfast and either lunch or dinner.

e. Do you feel eating is a moral question? Do you feel you are a moral failure when take great pleasure from eating?

Nope. Dad Pony does that, and it brings him nothing but grief. So I don't.

f. Do you feel morally superior when you refrain from eating?

No. Just hungry.

g. Do you ever pass judgement on strangers based on the items in their grocery carts?

You assume that I take great interest in the contents of the grocery carts of strangers.

5. Religion

a. Do you believe in a god or gods?

Yes.

b. Do you feel your god/s is/are personal and are concerned with the minutae of your daily life?

No. And that's just fine with me. Who wants a god snooping around every piddly bit of my personal life?

c. Do you think other people who believe as you believe are inherently better people than those who have different beliefs?

Excuse me while I roll around on the floor laughing at the utter inanity of that question.

d. If you could wave a magic wand and convert everyone on earth to your belief would you? Why? Why not?

No. Then there would be no Christmas, and therefore there would never again be Brigham's Peppermint Stick ice cream, available in New England in December only. Think of the peppermint stick ice cream!

But seriously. It would be a poorer world if everyone was the same religion. And forcible conversion leads to very unhappy people. See: marranos.

e. Were you converted from one religion to another?

No.

f. Was your religion inherited, as in do you worship and believe in much the same fashion as your parents and grandparents before you?

Those are two different questions. Yes, my religion is inherited. But I worship and believe in a very different fashion than my parents and grandparents. Hence the phrase that I say to Dad Pony at least two or three times a year: "Dad, this isn't your father's Reform Judaism."

g. To what extent are your religious beliefs cultural? Or to put it another way are they the prevailing beliefs and customs of your social set? Is your religion "normal" for your area?

I have no idea. My social set varies from being basically agnostic to deeply committed to their own choice of faith. Given that my area is a gigantic multicultural American city, I'd say that I'm as "normal" as any of the other eight million denizens of the area.

h. Does the god of your understanding play favorites or does it love everyone more or less equally?

We assume that the god of my understanding loves people. I have yet to see convincing evidence of this. I tend to go with a great line from the musical version of Fiddler on the Roof: God, we thank You for having made us Your Chosen People. But why couldn't You have chosen someone else?

i. Does the god of your understanding condone killing?

The god of my understanding certainly doesn't do much to stop it.

j.Does the god of your understanding play favorites with one gender over the other? Making only women her emissaries on Earth, for instance, or saying that women are the "natural" heads of the household and men their "servants"?

Nope. The god of my understanding seems to have balanced men, women, and others pretty evenly.

k. Does god as you understand it care if teenagers masturbate?

The god of my understanding has better things to do than worry about teenagers masturbating.

l. How does your god feel about sex?

As far as I know, my god thinks it's a great idea, especially on Shabbat. However, I also suspect that my god set sex up as a great private joke at humanity's expense.

m. Same sex marriage?

As far as I'm concerned, sure. Why not? Same-sex couples can't possibly make any more of a mess at it than opposite-sex couples have.

As far as my god is concerned, I can't imagine that God cares much about human legal arrangements. As long as people take care of each other, and don't hurt others, that's all that matters.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
lcohen
Mar. 14th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
i actually do take great interest in the grocery carts of strangers. when i am waiting in line, i look to see what they have and if they have something i've been thinking about trying and haven't yet, i ask if they've already tried it and how it was.
frenchpony
Mar. 14th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I'm usually trying to balance my shopping basket, get my wallet out, and find the appropriate line that I don't have a chance to check out what anyone else is getting. Most people shop for ingredients, same as I do, and those tend to be pretty generic.
telperion1
Mar. 14th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
That was fun to read. Like always, there's a sense of humor in your answers, and you had me chuckling at the pepperment stick ice cream bit.
frenchpony
Mar. 14th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
The biggest thing that I believe about the god of my understanding is that the Divine has a wicked sense of humor. And that's the most important thing you need to survive in this world.

You go find some Brigham's Peppermint Stick ice cream. Then you will see why the world needs Christians.
rhobike
Mar. 14th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
The Moral Majority sure did a job on the vocabulary words "moral" and "morality" for me. I never use the word "morality" to describe the distinction between right and wrong. "Morality" refers to those issues of right and wrong that are relevant to religions but not to ethics, e.g., fornication is a moral issue, and murder is not a moral issue.
frenchpony
Mar. 14th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
The Moral Majority did a job on lots of things. They've screwed up more in thirty years than any of us liberal types could ever do in a century.
jastaelf
Mar. 14th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
INteresting meme.... I think I will forgo responding to it myself, because I might tend to get... quixotic and pain-in-tuchis about it. *grins* But reading your answers was, as always, riveting!
frenchpony
Mar. 15th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Oh, I bet your answers would be even more riveting than mine. Especially the religion part.

But I'm glad you found my somewhat larkish thoughts on Deep Things In Life so entertaining.
jay_of_lasgalen
Mar. 14th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Some of those questions are strange. I like your answers!

And despite our different beliefs, our views on God are very similar. I like that.
frenchpony
Mar. 15th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
They are pretty weird questions. They seem to come from the mind of someone who's considering breaking with a very puritanical society and is considering all the options carefully, but doesn't yet have much experience with the wider world and its ways of thinking.

Seems we both believe in a relatively impersonal god.
meggins
Mar. 16th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
As if your general snarkiness (but never snideness) isn't enough to win me over, there's this:

b. Do you feel your god/s is/are personal and are concerned with the minutae of your daily life?

No. And that's just fine with me. Who wants a god snooping around every piddly bit of my personal life?


I've come to believe that, even with inifinite time on its hands, Divinity must have better things to do than poke around in every corner of our little lives.

I'm afraid I do concern myself with the contents of others' shopping carts, at least if they're standing in the "10 Items or Less" lane with 12 items. Yes, I'm one of those people.
frenchpony
Mar. 16th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
Divinity has to make sure that the earth doesn't crash into the sun. Billions of times over throughout the whole multiverse. And watch all those bazillions of sparrows falling. Who has time for the affairs of humans with all that to take care of first?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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