Skip to comments.No, you did it on purpose! (Russian editorial on cartoon riots)
Posted on 02/11/2006 6:02:52 PM PST by struwwelpeter
It is a complex topic, what can you say? What can offend someone is not always understandable, and in that sense if someone really wants to be offended, he will find a reason.
Recently I was in the Moscow Metro and in a big hurry. In my haste, I accidentally bumped into a man. I immediately apologized, but at the same time I was excusing myself there followed a blow to my back. "What's that for?" I asked, dumbfounded. "Why did you push me?" he replied. "But I apologized." "And why should I care that you apologized?" "But I didn't do it on purpose!" "No, you did it on purpose!" Exhausting my reserves of arguments, I went on my way.
I think that it is reasonable to be offended if the offending party did it consciously. To be offended by awkwardness or tactlessness is neither practical nor smart. In general, the more confident a person is that he is right, then the less touchy he is about something.
Cultural differences and traditions should also be remembered. Let us assume that a word in some language means something like holiness or virtuousness, but in another language it sounds like something very indecent and insulting to someone's national feelings. What can you do?
To depict a prophet in a very foolish context is a great sin in Islamic tradition, but not in Christian tradition, or at least sometimes. There are even atheistic traditions, but these too have won for themselves the right to exist.
So, some Viking joker drew two or three pictures (and not very good ones, by the way), and they got published in some local newspaper over there. So what? Who would have noticed, had it not been for the cries of the offended?
And so it went. The offended now threaten and rattle sabers, demanding apologies and sanctions, demanding clampdowns and punishments. Others, just to spite the offended, reprint these pictures in their newspapers, this defending their right to this freedom. That is also pretty silly, but it is more intelligible and nearer to me personally. I understand that people, whose profession and work are connected with speaking, writing, drawing, singing, and filming, are inclined to be nervous whenever the discussion turns to putting limits on creative freedom.
I am not justifying it, but I understand. I understand, because I am one of those, who hold the concept of freedom no less piously than someone else may hold sacred something else. They say, however, that religious feelings are a special subject. No joking. But why are they special? Why no jokes? 'In a house hanging by a rope', I could understand, but why here? Is it an unhealthy topic, in this sense? But why is it unhealthy? That is, I understand, that this topic can be unhealthy for those who do not have strong faith, but if they do believe strongly, then why?
I am not a very religious person, but it seems to be that if I were, then I would discuss the matter this way: say a person said, drew, or sculpted something that in one way or another insulted my religious sensitivities. Yes, he is committing sacrilege and blasphemy, but he is an unreasonable, unhappy heathen, who does not know or understand what I know and understand. I have faith and I am happy. He does not have faith and he is wretched and deprived.
I would pray for him and for his straying soul, since he does not know what he is doing. If he is worthy of punishment, then I, as man of faith, know that it is for someone other than myself to punish him.
Sounds very much like the lefties in this country
I guess that doesn't translate well.
Any Russian FReepers willing to fill in the gaps on that cultural reference?
As "Faux pas"? Grossly faux, of course. [But then, it is French, and not particularly colloquial] - I would be doing this translation either verbatim, or would use a substitution by explanatory phrase, like "tactlessly creating an embarrassing situation". The closest expression coming to mind would be "He should be the last person to speak of it...", but that might be more specific than the context requires.
Must... buy... more... reference books!
Or troll ICQ more.
"V dome poveshennogo o verevke ne govoryat" (proverb) =
[One doesn't mention the rope in the house of one who has been hanged] - the meaning approximates: this is neither the place nor the person to speak of these subjects, or "[he] should be the last person to be heard from on it"- with the same meaning that [his] input would be out of place and best if not provided.
Ehpizod 1Which I took to mean:
"Nachem vot ehdak: pyat' zaychat reshili exat' v Tver'.
A v dver' stuchat, a v dver' stuchat - poka ne v ehtu dver'."
"Na vole sneg, na kukhne chad, vsya komnata v dymu,
a v dver' stuchat, a v dver' stuchat, na ehtot raz - k nemu."
Episode 1: Let's start thus: 5 hares decided to travel to Tver. But they knock at the door, but they knock at the door - for now not at that door.WHAT THE HECK IS THIS SUPPOSED TO MEAN????!!!
"There is snow on the ox, soot in the kitchen, the whole room is smoky, but they knock at the door, but they knock at the door - this time to him.
Ah, I was wondering why the adjective was in either the genitive or the animate, accusative form.
That's it! Thanks, now it makes sense.
I thought it was a fragment of a saying, don't know why, it just had that feel to it.
I guess without the cultural context, things are confusing. Like we do, always "Birds of a feather" without the "flock together". Ditto the 'Hares' knocking at the door. Were they zaitsy because they didn't have to pay to ride the trolleybus?
Yep. This very play of "zaitsy" meanings is used here, although this would be a train, and not a bus. [giveaway: going to Tver' - ca.120miles from Moscow - would call for a train ride in 1930s Russia]. And one more thing - it is not that the "hares" didn't HAVE TO pay the fare - normally a "hare" would be someone who did not pay [albeit should have done so] and got caught for it, or could have been caught.
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