Gymglish Users and Visitors Lounge


Irony or social statement on Radio Rhubarb ?

Hello everyone,


I was recently listenning to Radio Rubarb (that I really like. If I could, I would stick to it all day long...). And I was quite surprised to hear Moira and Brent having a bias against Rachid, the copter pilot. They couldn't accept that Rachid was born and raised as an american, that is quite strange for american people whose country is entirely made of waves of immigrants !
In a previous segment, we learned that US airforce is afraid of any aircraft driven by an arab-named pilot, especially if the copter is hovering above the Pentagon. The story was quite ironic and funny.
But, what about Moira and Brent ?
I was wondering : do you think that the Gymglish authors are making fun of us, or do they realy think that Moira and Brent represent the average americans who now feel threatened by any arabic name ?


Noémie

3 comments

  • Sorry, Noémie13, other obligations kept me quite busy, so that I find only now the time and muse to ponder about this question and to give you an answer.


    So, let me give my two cents on this topic.


    I don't really think that the GymGlish authors maintain the opinion the average American citizen feel threated by oriental sounding names -although, admittedly, there seems to exists some paranoia in certain communities, even more so after 9/11 the back then government, the notorious Bush administration, understood exactly how to harness the national shock and the ubiquitous feeling of threat in order to appear as the bustling safeguard of the American populace. Making out an enemy and seize measures against him seemed to them as an effective way to impress the citizenry. That kind of 'fear mongering' had also many signs of a tactic, a diversion, an attempt to display impressive engagement and care-taking.


    Along with those 'efforts', an exaggerated suspicion was nourished in the media among the people, and along with it, the administration was eager to publicly display what they were doing against that alleged enemies of the state. Suspecting, observing, interrogating and apprehending even innocent suspects showed activity and bustle and conveyed the message to the electorate: 'Look, we take care of you!'. 'Surround the usual suspects' is not only a famous quote in the world of cinema, it's also always an effective method to feign responsibility.


    And so, even guileless people without inveterate biases against foreigners and people of Arabic or Far Eastern cultures, couldn't help but being influenced in some way – and developed some kind of bias, based on apprehensiveness, uncertainty and fear. Public media and national atmosphere always have an impact in one way or another – and not everybody has the time, the resources or just the willingness to reflect upon on it.


    In the end. the Islamist terrorist was surmised lurking behind every bush and every steering wheel – and a pitch-back, drooping mustache was considered as a membership card of Al Quaida.


    On that note, I gather, the authors of the Radio Rhubarb lessons didn't want to imply the American average Joe have an inveterate prejudice against people with Arabic-sounding names. They just took up the ubiquitous atmosphere of exaggerated suspicion, preposterous sometimes and predominantly fostered by the government and the mass media, and put them into a humorous dialogue.


    It think, in both episodes, the one about the safeguard of the Pentagon and the one about the doubts whether Rachid is an American native, the authors tried to take up both topics in a rather witty way.


    In general, I appreciate how the GymGlish authors deal with serious topics in a funny, light and entertaining way. 'Life is too serious to be taken too seriously' is a good motto. Sometimes one can argue whether some topics are too delicate and too serious to be dealt with
  • I think that GG very much like Anglo-American culture. I also think that GG is actually French.
    Bruno being the archetype of this, would I say, paradox.
    And the spirit of Radio Rhubarb, which I highly appreciate, might also be influenced by this duality.
    How can one be as stupid as Brent? But Belgian guys think that it's an exquisite pleasure to be taken for a fool by a stupid guy.
    Anyway, everything but 'politically correct' make us think ... I very well remember that a normal guy said how he was ashamed of himself. Because, One time, he felt his arm trying to escape an injection when he realised the doctor was arab. If I were responsible for the security of the Pentagon, my first move would be not to like the arab name of the pilot in the story. The point is not to stick on this first reaction and turn to a professional approach.
    Sorry, Doctor, I'm very sorry, please forget about it.


    Radio Rhubarb is somewhere on this line, but one like to hear what they say : Punchy and concease.


    Sorry for being verbose


    Cordialement
  • From BailleCl:I very well remember that a normal guy said how he was ashamed of himself. Because, One time, he felt his arm trying to escape an injection when he realised the doctor was arab. If I were responsible for the security of the Pentagon, my first move would be not to like the arab name of the pilot in the story. The point is not to stick on this first reaction and turn to a professional approach.

     


    That's a delicate point. And if we are honest, we have to admit that we all have biases or prejudices against somebody and something. That's common.


    I concur to you and I like that train of thought.


    We can't help our first impulses, which can be accounted for by our prejudices and biases (and prejudices come from our upbringing, from our social enviroment, from our experience). For that we are not fully responsible - to some extend of course. But at any rate we can prevent ourselves from acting on our impulses. That's how we can learn and change ourselves.


    Science proofs more and more than our free will is not to choose what our first impulses are. Our free will is to decide whether we act on our impulses. We can choose NOT to give in to our impulses, think them over and behave accordingly.


    Good objection, BailleCl

Please sign in to leave a comment.