a ringing it depends to armenias sweetheart contract

Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Thu, 15 Feb 1996 15:28:50 CST

Dear DMs Schacherbauer,

This gander needs extra hot sauce, please remember that when you bring
me to the Chinese restaurant of your choice for final-stage processing. The
goose's needs are heavily contingent upon its last lamentable objectification
in either Chinese or Jewish cuisine, where the repspective treatment will be
radically different. Now, as it happens, I hate food, so cannot elaborate.
This may be attributable to a certain party's repeated counterempirical
assertions, backed by forcible-coercive measures, "You're *not eating*!"
This charge would have become politically incorrect only quite recently,
with the emergence of HCYDC ("How Come You Don't Call") as a masive voting
bloc. This is to illustrate:
1. Don't mix your metaphors before they've hatched. This is the last time
I repeat this obvious lesson.
[stormy applause in the hall]
2. The derogatory or epithetical [usage?] character of a term, label, or
form of address is contingent on the relative status of the parties,
social gender, linguistic gender[?], fluctuations in terms of relative
3. Ingroup versus outgroup usage is critical. "Sweetheart" is frequently
heard in common speech as an African-Americanism. When used between female
peers, it indicates positive (frienship) or negative (enemies of equal
stature, where woman A is worthy of the steel of woman B). Everything
Depends, get to Know this word, on whether the delivery is uttered smilingly/
laughingly, as in the former usage; or acidly, in the latter.
4. "Sweetheart" may be a term of belittlement uttered by an ingrouper, a savvy
olderish African-American woman, say, and a younger, more naive, white woman,
especially of higher socioeconomic status; here it has the sense of "snotty
white bitch, what do you know," but slips by the victim so rapidly, or the
victim is inured by professional training in the endurance of slights directed
at her by social Inferiors to ignore "stuff," "mouth," "attitude," "dis," the
fashions change. Language in situations of this sort may be less correlated
with intensity of affect than they seem at first hearing; the likelihood of
a scowl eventuating in murder by misinterpretation of perhaps involuntary
gestures is drastically smaller.
5. As a term of endearment directed by a male toward a female, Sweetheart is
burned out; recycled; febrile; on the edge of the flataffectual. Do you know
how to change a flat affect on the highway? Is your spare pumped full of air?
See #1, above.
6. Continued from above. Rather than risk imputation of lack of emotional
intensity or commitment, substitute "Precious" before "Sweetheart passes
your lips, mister.
7. Never use "sweetheart," "precious," "honey," &c, to females in bureaucra-
tically subordinate or otherwise hierarhically Inferior positions relative
to yourself, unless the usage is backed by an apparatus of terror. Usage
among gay males I have not kept up with.
8. What did Ruby *mean*, *when* did Ruby mean it, and what does it *objecti-
vely* mean?" These are different matters. Let's generalize, first. I like Ruby,
and I know I've got to take extra care about being misconstrued, being socially
inept. First, the last. As I have said too many times already, "I care not what
you mean by what you say. I care only about what you say means." Let's check
this out a bit further.

People in this culture are *coerced* into having a *positive self-image* or
*good selfconcept*. You can believe the Shrinko Party Line as much as you like,
but it's still counter-empirical; the Shrinkish profession nevertheless con-
trols the definition of Reality-Impairment. Thus, society may be extremely
hierarchical and getting more so daily; the Shrink will conduct your heresy
interrogation in terms of a normative doctrine of provisional inequalities
apportioned strictly in accordance with the meritocratic principle with the
certainty nevertheless that the Shrink and people in his her its neighborhood
will Ring the Bell Curve infallibly. (The intelligence quotient, recall, is
a lottery ticket such that all the winning tickets without exception are
sold only in certain neighborhoods, none elsewhere.) The Shrinko orthodoxy
is propounded, "Your 'Inferiority' is entirely in your own mind." You then
may reply, if a clerical worker, as I did, "I am the custodian of eighteen
thousand measurements of Stupidity and Inferiority, points taken off cognitive
scores and added onto deviant scores, the usual rigged game, and *you* are
telling *me* that my or anyone else's Inferiority exists entirely in *my* mind,
when it's *you*, explicitly, right on the first page of what's grandiosely
called a "measurement instrument," on the order of wearing a labcoat to sell
toothpaste, whose got the name in Star Biling? There are two possiblitlies,
not wholly mutually exclusive. Either my Inferiority, which may be quantifiable
in lots of stark and brutal ways, is entirely in YOUR mind, or it's out there
in society as a whole, embedded in quotidian hierarchical relations. As it's
not you who's immediately paying my pitiful remuneration, I will call you a

I loved to do that. No use, like hot sause off a gander's back. It's in
Newfoundland, somewhere. See #1, above. Cf Goose Bay. Which'd be connected
direct by westward extension of the Queen Elizabeth Way to Moose Jaw, except
for the threat, direly forecast by engineers, of Quebec's falling straight
into hell. See #1 above.

Dr A, who outranks by a country mile, see #1 above, the graduate students
I tortured with mere facts, habitually tells me, "Sociology is your Paranoid
Delusional System." Translation: Though the sociological theoretical model may
indeed adequately account for available empirically observed social behaviour,
it is withal Counter-Real; ie, it deviates from the normative-idealist ideolo-
gical representation of society (an obscenity never mentioned) which is deemed
medically most conducive to Wellness. The organism resisting efforts to instill
Wellness, seeing a hierarchical structure of an evil or at best malevolent sort
is Paranoid. We all agree on this in one upping each other as more nuts than
ourselves, so come off it.

As part our Good Self-Concept, we are induced, by forcible repression, to
deny that we would do horrid, nasty things out of character, yet we are to
a degree in an agonistic snakepit competing against each other, even our
own good fiends, where one of us gets tenure only; or as happened with me
and my best friend, they fired us both; accordingly, we are always, if
possible, Nice, and hold forth with mealymouthedness we call Professionalism.
That's the ideal, insufferably boring as it is, the list is forever falling
9. Having listed, overschematically, the core usages of "Sweetheart" among
African-American women, one may inadvertently, and I've heard it occur, cop
status points by dropping the word on a listener by way of saying, "I'm
Liberaler than you; some of my fiends, not necessarily the best ones, of
course, aren't as white as you." ("And me," but no point is scored against
the oneupper invoking *la boue*.) Another possibility is that one woman is
simply younger in chronological age than an older woman. There have arisen,
in the age-gender ranking system of recent decades, certain anomalous situati-
ons or occupations wherein or whereby the senior, chronologically, woman actu-
ally outranks the addressee, who's younger, almost by definition better-
looking, as in "trade in for a newer model," and more visually resplendent
in terms of secondary and tertiary sex characteristics. The elder woman may
rub in her hierarchical eminence over and above the biologically arresting
"Female Animal," ie, "Feel Like A Healthy Animal, Smoke Newports. Only The
Sexiest Women Die Of Our Brand." This is a sore spot with even the most
occupationally secure women in senior positions, whose insecurity may well
generate a "Sweetheart."
[The other night, I played a trick on Ruby. She asked me via e-mail whether
I knew Adrienne Dearmas. I said I didn't know. If she, Ruby, would tell me
the party's age, looks, height, hair colour, and other components of conventi-
onal pulchritude, if I couldn't place her, "I'll at least do you the favour of
*objectifying her like any other woman* in my mind. You realize, I'm in Chicago
aka Hog Butcher For The World, vast fortunes and entire neighborhoods mine
inclusive (landfill) built on disassembly of bodies into parts."
10. Overlapping with any and all of the above, there is plain old social
ineptitude. We all wish to be Nice. <smiley ikon about here><haghia maria
theotokos ikon about here><*goy momzer* graffiti about here>. Some people,
wishing to be Nice, personalble, projective of Attitudes Positive, and those
who've taken first semester stat know that the square root of the sum of squa-
red attitudes is *always* positive, may Sweetheart somebody and, in so doing,
merely be screwing up. I have two left feet up my mouth myself; who'm I to
get the first stoned. I'm the last stoned, in that I suddenly recalled that
the particular Drug for the purpose is *unaddictive*, hence I cannot recall
how long I haven't been smoking it, unlike William Jefferson Clinton. Hey,
Prez, roll me one and you got my vote, but'cha gotta inhale. An' I gotta get
high 'nuf, call Hil'ry Sweetheart. It takes a Greenwich Village, and it also
takes an East Village. If I did that, it'd be, "Just the kinda thing he's
likely to do"; if you did, most of you, it's a pardonable lapse. Now, if
Ruby's been on a run of social ineptitude, like the downhill Appropriate
Behaviour curve looking like the Decline of the Roman Empire, she'd never
get the benefit of the doubt, no matter what her intentions were. Now, I
know Ruby, and have known her for many years, at least one; and her intentions
have been unfailingly sweet, uh, kind and maternal. Maybe it's to do with my
childishness, which appeals to certain extreme cases of maternalism. Like my
own mother, may she rot in he-, she's still alive, what am I saying. My mother
only meant well, she just didn't know what she was doing. Ruby, on the other
hand, believes she knows what she's doing at a very high level of sophisticati-
on (I asked), and I do truly hope she's got the Cosmic Consciousness necessary
to do the job she's taken on.

Hats off to Ruby, old timers; when the Saints Go Marching In/ I Wanna Still
Be Jewish/When The Saints Go Marching In.

Daniel A. Foss
<valentine for ruby>