Date: Sat, 29 Oct 1994 00:38:06 PDT
From: "CAVEMAN -- San Bernardino, Calif. USA" cjcoker[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CSUPOMONA.EDU
Subject: Re: offending idiot
Chuck Coker here. First of all, I would like to point out that I am not
Professor Coker (I teach occasionally, but only because I know my stuff; I am
not faculty anywhere), nor am I Dr. Coker (I don't have a Ph.D. in anything,
that is, of course, unless you use the "Piled Higher and Deeper" meaning).
However, if anybody used those terms seriously, I'm flattered; but most of the
time I took them to be sarcastic (well-deserved) jabs at my comments. I don't
want anybody to lose sleep over this, I can take it :-).
Second, I am famous (infamous?) for being politically UNcorrect. I often
speak without my brain being properly engaged, as all have witnessed (in this
case, I "keyboarded" without brain properly engaged). I often say what comes
to mind rather than filtering it to avoid hurt feelings, etc. This has caused
me many problems during my life in one way or another -- primarily at work,
when talking to the boss, for example.
Anyway, what I wanted to respond to was the question about the Boulder Dam
(aka Hoover Dam) project. All I really know, other than the dog story -- it
was a camp mascot, by the way, not my grandparents' dog -- is all about the
electrical design of the dam (my grandfather was an electrical engineer on
the project). Everytime we would pass the dam (my grandparents took their
grandkids travelling often) we'd get the whole electrical blueprints recited
again and again. I have seen WPA cards (Works Progress Administration, or
something like that -- this was during the depression) at my mothers house.
I think these were analogous to modern-day company ID cards. I don't really
know all the details like ethnic makeup of the workforce or anything. My
mother is back east right now (she lives about an hour from me), but upon her
return I'll pick her brain on anything she remembers about such things, and
get her to dig out old photos taken during construction. After which, I will
forward a summary of what I find out.
In closing, I would like to point out that since this is the American Dialect
Society (not the Politically Correct Society), I have heard the dam referred
to as "Boulder Dam" only by those who worked on the project. Everyone else
seems to refer to it by its proper name, "Hoover Dam." The nearest town to
the work camp was Boulder City, Nevada, hence the name "Boulder Dam." Has
anybody else heard of it referred to as Boulder Dam by people not affiliated
with the project? Or as in my case, their descendants?
Comments and Flames always welcome,
Prof./Dr. Chuck Coker :-)
CJCoker[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CSUPomona.Edu
P.S.: If you want a REALLY GOOD political correctness argument, see the one
on ANTHRO-L. Some guy named Rushton recently published a book that
"clearly demonstrates" the "racial superiority" of white people over "people
of color." Rushton claims scientific truth to his bigotry (bigotry is MY
word, not his), others claim that the level of melanin in one's skin has
absolutely zero effect on IQ, etc. (a theory I also subscribe to).
P.P.S: John Baugh: I have heard the term "white trash," but not
"peckerwood." I have three white grandparents, one Indian (oops, Native
American -- there I go again) grandmother -- so I think I qualify as a white
guy. Therefore, am I a "peckerwood?" (If it's not a noun, is it something
I do? I've been called "peckerhead" before, but that was something
different, I think.)
Also, I made the claim that I am not racist. My granddughter, who I
love dearly, has ancestors that are (forgive me here) white, black, indian,
mexican, and oriental (I don't know her father's complete genealogy). As I
claimed to be NOT racist (which really means I am), which part of my
granddaughter should I hate? I've always been confused about that. (This is
in jest, please don't reply to it. I am, however, curious about peckerwood.)
There have been no dragons in my life, only small spiders and stepping in gum.
I could have coped with the dragons.
Anonymous (but wise)