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Prophet 451

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Member since: Wed Jul 27, 2005, 05:10 PM
Number of posts: 8,832

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No problem

Right, "Rom" means "man" (in the sense that one might speak of mankind) but can also mean "male" or "husband" depending on context. "Roma" is the collective name we give ourselves. "Romani" (sometimes with two "i"s) can be used instead of "Roma" but more commonly refers to the Romani language. Sinti, I'll get to in a second. Our language is shared... to an extent. Again, I'll come back to that in a second. The word "gypsy" is controversial. It's patently inaccurate (it's derived from "Egyptian" from the Middle Ages assumption we were from Egypt) but some find it offensive and some don't. Personally, I don't find it offensive. "Gyppo", however, is roughly akin to using the n-word to a black man and a really good way to start a fist-fight.

Right, potted history is that we originated in Northern India. We left India sometime around the Ninth century. According to current theories, the Roma left India in three distinct waves which give rise to the great clans: Roma (yes, also used to refer to us as a people, it's confusing) who travelled among central Europe and the UK; Sinti (Germany & Austria) and Kale (Spain). We're also related to the Dom (MidEast and Turkey) and Lom (Caucasus) but whether they're simply clans of the Roma people or distinct but related ethnic groups depend on who you ask. Personally, I tend to think of them as two more great clans because that gives us five and that's a psychologically appealing number (yes, sometimes I can be that shallow). Each great clan is sub-divided into smaller clans such as the Rom/Romale, Kalderesh, Lovari, Gurbeti, etc. And the smaller clans are subdivided into families. I am of the family Nock, which is part of the clan Rom/Romale, which is part of the great clan Roma. To add to your confusion, the Roma of different nations use different terms for themselves. Here in England, the preferred term is "Romanichal".

When we left India, we had a shared language and to some extent, we still do. However, in the intervening eleven hundred years, the language has evolved into seven related languages and numerous slightly different dialects. According to Ethnologue, the most widely spoken are the Vlax, Balkan, Carpathian and Sinte. To make all this even more complicated, Romani has thousands of words appropriated from areas we travelled through or settled in and we're traditionally an oral culture, it's only very recently that we've started writing down things like our history. The result is that a Kalderesh and a Sinti could communicate enough to get the basic gist of what each was saying but would lose finer, more subtle meanings.

For books, I can't help you. However, I've heard good things about "I Met Lucky People" (Yaron Matras). I can direct you to several websites though:
InOtherWords have a pretty good overvie (http://www.inotherwords-project.eu/content/project/media-analysis/terminology/terminology-concerning-roma)

Wiki has a pretty good account of our history (although it differs from our folklore origin myths): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Romani_people

ScottishGypsies is a pretty good info source, just be aware that it has a stated area of focus: http://www.scottishgypsies.co.uk/

Finally, GRTHM have a fair bit of decent info: http://grthm.natt.org.uk/index.php

e-cigs NOT a gateway to new smokers, study finds

A study by ASH has found that almost all e-cig users are either current or former smokers, not new users. Yes, this is from a British survey but I'd imagine that US results are pretty similar. What's more, the study found that the majority of e-cig users are using rechargeable batteries and refillable cartridges/tanks, rather than the disposables released by the big tobacco firms.


I'm now a week without cigarettes, just an e-cig

This is why the anti-ecig crusade some seem to be on is so misguided. In the space of about six weeks, I've gone from 50 a day to 0, thanks to the e-cig. I'm going between three flavours of liquid, a tobacco, a cherry and a cinnamon.

Without the e-cig, I would still be smoking. With it, I've quit smoking with no real cravings. The slightly different sensation takes a few days to get used to and I haven't quite gotten up the courage to get rid of my tobacco yet (not least because tobacco is expensive so if I dump it, I'm out 50) but essentially, I've quit. And I keep hearing complaints about e-cigs having sweet flavours, like adults are only allowed to have "used ashtray", "boiled jockstrap" and "stale beer" flavours, all others are for kids.

This is why the crusade is so misguided. I'd been smoking for 25 years and I've been able to quit. My mother, who's been smoking for fifty years, is using e-cigs to quit. If you ban e-cigs or regulate them out of existence, we would still be smoking.

Can't watch the video

I think my graphics drivers need updating. Anyway...

I do wish atheists would stop trotting out the mental illness accusation. I actually am mentally ill (MDD, GAD, "visions" and voices), I'm also a man of faith (Luciferian Satanist, if it matters) and, by coincidence, studying psychology. There's a strong difference between the two that can't really be explained to someone who hasn't experienced both. My "visions" are when an image (in my case, always a violent image) fixes itself in my mind's eye and won't go away. My voices are... difficult to explain. It's like someone talking in the next room. You can hear the sound but can't make out the words.

My religious experience is an entirely different sensation. It's a feeling of connectedness (is that a word? Fuck it, it is now). If you'll forgive the mysticism, it's a sensation of oneness with the deity (Father Lucifer, in my case), of being part of something much older and wiser and larger than the self. It's a quite different sensation.

Now, could this just be a different type of mental illness? Yes, that's entirely possible. However, my drug regime includes a fairly powerful dose of anti-psychotics so I consider it doubtful. In the end, I'm not sure it matters. If my faith demanded that I ignore simple facts (denying evolution or global warming, for example) or caused me to harm anyone, then I could understand trying to talk me out of it. But since my faith doesn't require me to deny facts or cause me to harm anyone including myself (my mental illness frequently does but not my faith), I would suggest that it doesn't really matter very much to anyone outside my close family. I'm happy with my faith, it provides me with a sense of purpose and a code to live by (Note: I am categorically not saying that atheists lack either) and since I'm not affecting anyone else, where's the harm (rhetorical question)?

Is the USA now a fascist state?

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism as it is the union of state and corporate power" ~ Mussolini

And he invented fascism so he should know. Given that a report a few days ago found that the USA was now an oligarchy and that the FCC yesterday capitulated entirely to the two-tier internet that corporations want, is it now accurate to call the USA a fascist (i.e. corporatist) state?

Remember that tanks in the streets, racism, genocide, etc are not required for a nation to be fascist.

Why or why not?

EDIT: If you can't be bothered to explain why not beyond simple denial, DON'T RESPOND.

Just tried my first e-cigarette

And I think I may be a convert. The cig lasted less than a day (crappy cheap disposable) but it gave me a nice solid smoke flavour and a nice throat hit similar to Marlboro Reds (my preferred pre-rolled). I've now ordered myself a proper starter kit and bottles of dark tobacco flavour and cherry flavour. My SO is happy because, while not harmless, e-cigs are considerably less damaging to my health.

So I'd just like to thank all the people on DU who encouraged me to give it a try, you were so right.

I'm all for age regulation

but complaining about "sweet flavours" is a "Hitler ate sugar" argument. They make these things in every flavour on the planet, same as they make booze in every flavour. It's just short of complaining that they should only come in boiled skunk flavour because ecig smokers shouldn't be allowed to enjoy it.

Do you think we'll see a female president?

Simply put, do you think we'll see a female president within the next, let's say, 30 years?

Not necessarily Hillary Clinton but any female president? Assume, for the sake of argument, that we have a female candidate. She espouses more-or-less the standard Democratic party line; she is in almost every way, a generic Democrat. Could she get elected as president or is there still too much sexism (both conscious and unconscious) for her to be elected? If it helps, substitute your favourite female politician into the equation.

So Sick Of This Gender Wars Bullshit

Believe it or not, DU didn't used to be like this. I've been here since 2005 and it didn't used to be constant gender wars all the time. Yes, occasionally, some topic would come up and we'd be preoccupied with it for a day or two. Yes, there'd be long arguments and sometimes flamewars over different points of principle. But it wasn't like this.

This was actually going to be a really long post laying out my annoyances and who is to blame for this constant gender wars crap with the perpetual claiming of victimhood and (self-)righteousness. But that post got way too specific, even for a stress-relief rant like this. So I'm just going to say that it didn't used to be like this. Even with this new, much tamer, version, I have a bet with myself on how long it will be before this post gets alerted/locked/hidden.

And now I'm in a really bad mood, I'm going to go play with my cats. Cracker and Lily send their love.

I do, nearly every day

I miss Jelli, who was a half-blind (one eye blind, the other going) stray that we adopted and who became my inseparable companion. She'd tear anyone else to shreds if they tried to pick her up but snuggled into my arms for a cuddle and slept curled up around my knees. We have no idea how old she was when she suffered the stroke that killed her but we made sure her last few years were spent in luxury and with love.

I miss Mac, who was a kitten abandoned on our doorstep who grew into a big ball of fluff. He would race downstairs at full tilt and smack into the wall at the bottom because he'd never learned to turn. He was a boisterous kitten all his life until a heart attack took him at two and a half.

I miss Suki, the crotchety old lady of the house who existed her cat-carrier, wandered around for a few minutes then settled herself on a cushion and decided that would do for her. Slow and easy, she took life at a walk. She was sixteen when we lost her to old age.

And I miss Sandy, who was so timid when he came to us that he'd run and hide behind the sofa if someone walked past the front door but got to be so confidant that he'd greet people as they came in and hop up on the table to eat the other side of my burger as I was eating it. So sweet-natured, he chased his elderly sister (Suki) at a walk, we don't know how old he was when FIV and cancer took him from us.

I miss them all. There are four small urns of their ashes on top of a bookcase and I think about them most days.
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