glitzfrau: (jesusgun)
[personal profile] glitzfrau
ME: Why did the Today programme just ask Ed Miliband why people thought he was weird? He's not weird! He's perfectly normal! What an odd question.

[livejournal.com profile] biascut: Because he's Jewish. Sorry, am I obsessed?

ME: No, you're quite right. Of course.

*both girls sigh*

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lazy-hoor.livejournal.com
I think it's because he looks a bit like Wallace from Wallace & Gromit.

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:21 am (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
But everyone looks a bit silly if you look at them for long enough. And Wallace is an endearing character, anyway; it should be a good association. The 'weird' accusation stinks of antisemitism to me.

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyopsqueene.livejournal.com
1. I think he's weird

2. I didn't know he was Jewish [1]

[1] I don't know how I didn't know! My gaydar and semitedar are rubbish! I never realise anything about anyone! I even just heard the clip about his family escaping from the Nazis and I still didn't leap to the right conclusion. I think that maybe it's just not very significant for me and so I forget.

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:27 am (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
Why is he weird? I genuinely don't get it. He's a normal bright Bildungsbürgertum Jewish boy with a nice wife and two little boys. Apart from the Jewish bit, why on earth is he a freak in a profession that contains Michael Gove and Vince Cable?

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyopsqueene.livejournal.com
...because he has strange starey eyes, a funny voice and doesn't always interview very well (I thought he was hopeless this morning). I wouldn't say 'freak' though, that's far too harsh, but I can see that people think he's 'weird', given that the rest of them are 'creepy' 'crass' 'posh twats' 'distant' 'on another planet' yadda yadda.

ETA: I realise these aren't particularly 'good' reasons to think he's weird, but they are knee jerky. I hope that doesn't mean I am in fact a massive antisemite :/
Edited Date: 2011-09-28 08:39 am (UTC)

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ultraruby.livejournal.com
Sigh.

This is why I watch Gossip Girl in the mornings these days rather than listening to the Today programme. It's by far a nicer way to start the day.

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:55 am (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
You're quite right. I would also like to listen to Morning Ireland, but alas have no internet radio yet. Maybe I should invest in one!

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Date: 2011-09-28 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] khalinche.livejournal.com
Come to think of it, Fred Macauley on Radio Scotland is much nicer to wake up to than the Today programme. That digital radio will be mine one day.

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kissmeforlonger.livejournal.com
I don't think he's weird either but he does have that nasal voice that sounds odd. People don't make those kinds of remarks about his brother.

He's attractive in a too-young-for-me, geeky kind of way - I have always liked cleverness and geekiness.

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:56 am (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
You're right that people don't make those remarks about David. Yes. And I too think he's rather cute!

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leedy.livejournal.com
Also don't think he's weird - B & I were just looking at a picture of him and his family in the paper the other day and saying "wow, they look like people we might meet at parties. Unlike that other shower."

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:56 am (UTC)

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:56 am (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
Though perhaps this means that we are also weird.

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Date: 2011-09-28 09:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] biascut.livejournal.com
I TOTALLY have that reaction to most of the Labour party, and then I feel bad for being part of the middle-class leftwing elite.

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Date: 2011-09-28 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the0lady.livejournal.com
Can it be that it's a both/and rather than an either/or issue? As in, he really is a little gormless for a politician, AND there are elements in the left wing press that have a certain kind of anti-Semitism burned into their bones to the point they can't see it any more they can see the back of their heads?

I do find him sort of dazily odd on occasion. There are the stary eyes, and also he doesn't move his neck nearly enough (that's what gives him that puppet-like Wallace appearance - a stiff neck). I find Oliver Letwin to be a bit "off" in a similar way, and Michael Howard to be full on Vincent Price scary.

Mind you, that is nothing to how viscerally terrifying I find Margaret Thatcher. Those Meryl Streep posters are my Dementors.

[David, now - only reason I'd throw David out of bed is to do him on the floor. And I really *don't* like Jewish men - look how far I'd had to move to get away from them! ;)]

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Date: 2011-09-28 12:36 pm (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
Now you are REALLY weird. Clearly Ed is the h0tt Miliband.

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Date: 2011-09-28 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marrog.livejournal.com
I have a friend who reminds me very much of (a more attractive) Ed (or rather Ed reminds me of my friend - here he is), although I worry that they're not alike at all and I'm reacting to ethnic markers in a 'they all look the same' way and that I'm actually being Ignorant (I'm not alone in thinking so but then most of my friends aren't Jewish).

I know loads of folk with Jewish roots and nobody else reminds me of the Milibands though so I think I'm in the clear...

Anyway, that makes me regard Ed as I might a slightly awkward acquaintance (not that Ben's awkward, but Ed is) and I have a certain fondness for him that's probably misplaced as a result of the perceived resemblance.

But it's a funny one, knowing when you're observing that someone 'talks funny' or whatever - which I think Ed does because he's a bit geeky-twitchy but then, that's a whole other thing - what if he sits somewhere at the low end of the autistic-spectrum, shouldn't we be avoiding comment on that even if it has nothing to do with him looking 'a bit Jewish'?

Really we should all just stop giving people a hard time for being what we perceive as a bit awkward or funny looking altogether because we're almost always going to be coming from a place of ignorance and prejudice. Why can't we just mock Ed for what he says instead?

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Date: 2011-09-28 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the0lady.livejournal.com
There definitely is a marked resemblance. I wouldn't worry about "racial markers" - and anyway if you hadn't said your friend was Jewish I'd have had him down as vaguely Asian-looking. Which may speak to my own prejudices, or to the utter impossibility of really judging people's ethnic origins based on their looks and the meaninglessness of race.

I'm not sure where the "autistic" hypothesis is coming from though. Autism is a deficiency in theory of mind - a difficulty, primarily, in perceiving and interpreting the emotions of others.

There is nothing in Ed's history or demeanour to suggest that he is oblivious to facial cues, lacking in empathy, unsure about the appropriate tone of response to an emotive issue - nothing like that. So I'd be careful with using the A label to explain away anything that is not perfectly polished and smooth in his behaviour.

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Date: 2011-09-28 12:31 pm (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
Really we should all just stop giving people a hard time for being what we perceive as a bit awkward or funny looking altogether because we're almost always going to be coming from a place of ignorance and prejudice. Why can't we just mock Ed for what he says instead?

Hear, hear! Absolutely. Except that I agree with most of what Ed says, apart from 'don't strike' and '£6k for university is a bargain!'

(BTW, I think [livejournal.com profile] the0lady is bang on about distance autism diagnoses, and I thinik her comments are really useful for me too.)

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Date: 2011-09-28 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whatsagirlgotta.livejournal.com
If it wasn't for all the background - Mandelson, Howard etc - I'd think it was down to his brother being an eerily perfect politics poster boy and his clunkiness in comparison. Not that I necessarily love David, but he's been brilliant on the likes of the Today programme unlike the majority of politician's I've heard getting boxed into corners and sounding evasive and/or stupid.

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Date: 2011-09-28 11:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the0lady.livejournal.com
Peter Mandelson is Jewish? Blimey.

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Date: 2011-09-28 01:12 pm (UTC)
ext_37604: (jesusgun)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com
I know what you mean. That said, I loathe the Today programme style of interviewing: throw a random, aggressive and entirely disconnected series of questions at your politico and keep barking at him until he stops talking. That's not political debate either.

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Date: 2011-09-28 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aliceinfinland.livejournal.com
What's weird about the Milibands from this distance is that there are two of them. It's spooky. I can't think of another set of brother politicians aside from those Polish twins. They both seem like the Michael Dukakis of Britain - egghead candidate who was easily crushed by the other side's stupid politician tricks.

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Date: 2011-09-28 09:00 pm (UTC)
ext_37604: (Default)
From: [identity profile] glitzfrau.livejournal.com

Jeb 'n' Dubya! But yes, you are right. No-one was as creepy as those Kaczyński twins though. It is very odd how they have been transformed from freakish ultramontane Catholic doubles to single martyr.

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Date: 2011-09-29 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] braisedbywolves.livejournal.com
The Kennedys? Admittedly there were three of them.