Mudcat Café message #301515 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24468   Message #301515
Posted By: Jed at Work
20-Sep-00 - 02:25 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Mrs Stein Don't Rent to Gypsies Any More
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: dosn't rent to gypsys
I am not sure where to post this thought, so I'll hit both threads.

I think it is possible to have an air of hyper sensitivity to an issue. While Black racial humor, can actually be funny and appropriate and NOT hateful - there exists an air of hypersensitivity around black/white issues, and the subject of black ethnic humor is generally (and righfully) taboo. Similarly, in the mainstream Jewish ethnic humor is practiced with great care, by those who know their audiences well, for the same reason; an air of hypersensitvity exists. This same air is NOT generally there, in the part of the world where I come from, for many other ethnic groups, and responsible ethnic humor can be safely practiced among a general audience. It's OK to poke fun at stereotypes of Republicans, and Democrats, Dentists and Lawncare Specialists, Irish and Scots, teenagers and Frat Boys ... again, as long as the humor really IS meant without malice.

In the part of the world where I live, I have never had reason to suspect there existed an air of hypersensitivity around Gypsy ethnic humor. If in fact, this song is in bad taste, to my way of thinking, it is so because of that hypersensitivity. As one Mudcatter pointed out; if you want to judge the sensitivity of the song (or lack thereof) replace the word Gypsy with Black, and you will see. Agreed. But if you replace the word Gypsy with Paddy, or Frat Boys you will also see, the intent could be more silly then malicious.

We never know the secret scars our neighbors carry, from hurts and wrongs they suffered without our knowledge. It can be difficult to get through this world without inadvertently reinjuring those old hurts of our neighbor, and sometimes we never even know it. I suspect the author of this song has done such a thing - certainly when I chuckled at the song that was the case. But I don't see intentional malice in the song. It's style is much more Animal House then Horst Wessel.