(Close Window)
Topic: "do you want these?...."
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 10, 2009 07:19PM)
This past weekend, while working down on the wharf I was taking a short break. Just drinking coffee and listening to a young, good looking, dreadlock sporting, punker-type girl playing her fiddle with a bucket in front of her. She was extremely talented, and really didn't seem to be hustling or mugging it for the pikers. I'd never seen her out before, I guess she was traveling -or at least she had that sort of look about her.

A well dressed elderly woman holding a doggie bag walked by her and stopped to listen. After a few moments she holds up the bag and asks the girl, in all seriousness: [i]"Do you want these?"[/i]

Shocked and appalled, was I.

The girl didn't even stop playing, but just said no and turned away from the old woman, who momentarily turned and walked off.

I could tell there was a slight hint of contempt in her eyes and in her voice as she rebuked the old woman's generous offer. But my jaw was totally on the ground over this! I probably wouldn't have held it together as well as she did. I've gotten plenty of contempt and insults thrown my way as a busker -and you learn to let [i]that[/i] kind of stuff roll off your back... But for some reason this patronizing act of generosity, miserliness and total cluelessness -all rolled into one, really made my blood boil.

Just goes to show that it doesn't matter how good you are, or how talented you are, or even how well you entertain your audience... When you're on the street, people perceive you as something totally different that what you are.

I firmly believe that goes for me, you and anyone else out there. You can take pains to minimize this, but unless there's a sign over your head that says "SPONSORED BY PEPSI" or some other such shyte, that's just how it is.
Message: Posted by: mmreed (Jan 10, 2009 10:37PM)
I would think that the generation gap had something to do with it too...

you mention the girl wasnt a "normal looking" girl but rather a punker with dreds... and the spec was an older classy woman...

to the older classy woman, the girls looks were probably indicative of poverty in her mind....

But that still doesn't excuse the cheapness of "hey want some leftovers?"
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jan 10, 2009 11:04PM)
Now if it had been donuts, that'd be different. Donuts are good.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 11, 2009 12:11AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-10 23:37, mmreed wrote:
I would think that the generation gap had something to do with it too...

you mention the girl wasnt a "normal looking" girl but rather a punker with dreds... and the spec was an older classy woman...

to the older classy woman, the girls looks were probably indicative of poverty in her mind....

But that still doesn't excuse the cheapness of "hey want some leftovers?"
[/quote]

No offense, Mark, but I don't think you're getting what I'm trying to say...

I doubt anyone is working the streets because they are rich dilettantes indulging a kooky fantasy, so poverty is par for the course... and a guy in a clown costume riding a unicycle twisting balloons isn't very "normal" looking either...

But c'mon... trying to foist off your uneaten garbage on someone? You give table scraps to a [i]dog[/i], man, not to a busker trying to make a living. That's way beyond cheap... I don't even know what that is.

Are Americans so stupid they cannot see the difference between a street performer and a stray animal?

Apparently so...

Anyhow, I'm just venting about something that really, REALLY bugged me, so take it for what it's worth, this rant of mine.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 11, 2009 09:59AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-11 01:11, gaddy wrote:
so poverty is par for the course...
[/quote]

Not for everyone. Most of the street and festival workers I know own homes, have 401Ks, and drive New cars. It always amazes me when people say things like poverty is par for the course. If that were true I never would have bothered with it. Why would anyone intentionally wallow in poverty? Some people even sound proud of the fact that they can not make a living street performing. That makes no sense to me at all. At some point if I could not make a living I might think that another vocation might make more sense for me. This is just such a weird statement to me as I have ONLY seen it uttered on internet forums and NEVER by guys on the pitch. I can honestly say I have never met a street performer who said, "You know being poor is par for the course so you are going to have to get used to it."

I have seen guys who have said, "I want you all to put five dollars in my hat because I need gas for my Alfa Romeo." It gets a big laugh but an even bigger one is when he drives by the pitch in his spider and toots to the crowd after the show!

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 11, 2009 04:01PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-11 10:59, Danny Hustle wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-01-11 01:11, gaddy wrote:
so poverty is par for the course...
[/quote]

Not for everyone. Most of the street and festival workers I know own homes, have 401Ks, and drive New cars. It always amazes me when people say things like poverty is par for the course. If that were true I never would have bothered with it......
[/quote]

It's true many people shoot over par. Somewhere close to 50% I'd imagine... ;)

I guess it's just a majority of street performers in SF I'm specifically targeting here. And the majority that I see here while working on the streets of my city appear poor, and I don't make a ton of money out there either to be perfectly honest. Maybe they're all parking their sports cars on the other side of the wharf, I don't know -I keep my distance for the most part.

I'm certainly not 100% supporting myself by my street performing, and my lifestyle would be a hell of a lot leaner if I was. Maybe my opinion isn't valid after all? Fine by me, if you think so... But I'm just calling it like I see it on the streets of the city where I work. This isn't just the idle blather of an internet sock puppet.

By all means, please come to San Francisco and teach me how it's done. I'd certainly be glad of the lesson. I can use all the help I can get.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 11, 2009 05:07PM)
...last statement wasn't a come-on or trying to bait you at all, I mean it!
Message: Posted by: mmreed (Jan 11, 2009 05:20PM)
What I was saying is that I know older "high brow" type people that no matter what the circumstance, if they see a person that does not look "high brow normal" to them, they see them as less. Im not talking clowns - those state "Im in costume".. but a punker with dredlocks isn't a costume - its likey the natural state of that person, and I know many high brow snobs that see that "alternate look" as a sign of lack of education and poverty.

that's no excuse for the lack of class to offer a half eaten meal. that's just tacky and who knows - the lady may have been half senile.

What Im saying is that many "upper class" view street workers different than you and I.

I am by no means an expert in the streets, Im new to all of this myself.. but I know many high brow snob types and they all seem out of touch with the real world when it comes to things like this.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jan 11, 2009 10:07PM)
"many high brow snobs that see that "alternate look" as a sign of lack of education and poverty"

Well, yes, exactly. Could there be any other reason that some cities discourage street performance/busking on the basis that it can be confused with panhandling? The difference is ridiculously obvious to US, but in the eyes of some that's the only reason a person would be performing on the street.. desperation, a lack of any other means of supporting oneself. This is actually one of the reasons I wear a costume that leaves no doubt that I am a performer. It's shorthand for 'not a homeless panhandler'. It's too bad that many judge so quickly (and their initial judgement is often their ONLY judgement), but they do, that's the world we live in. I direct much of my performance toward children. If I were to walk up to a child and initiate a conversation or ask them a question, get them laughing etc, and NOT look like a professional performer, the response of most parents would be wariness, at best. It's understandable in this culture of fear. In any case, yep, that was insulting to offer table scraps to a clearly accomplished musician. And while I'm not saying that the girl should have expected that because she was dressed casually, I am saying that as performers we choose to put ourselves in front of all kinds of people for their assessment. We have all kinds of choices to make as performers, and they all affect the way the public, our audience, responds to us.
Message: Posted by: montymagi (Jan 13, 2009 10:39AM)
Are Americans so stupid they cannot see the difference between a street performer and a stray animal? "quote"

so you are going to lump all Americans into one class because one old woman thought she was doing a good thing but was actually insulting? How many other countries have you been to? For that matter how many other states? I have been to several and let me inform you it is not just Americans and it is not by any streach of the imagination all Americans. We have some awsome buskers here in New Orleans and it is seen as an art form by most, misunderstood by some. I find your sterotypeing of "Americans" insulting, even if you are one.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 13, 2009 12:29PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 11:39, spacecop wrote:
so you are going to lump all Americans into one class because one old woman thought she was doing a good thing but was actually insulting?
[/quote]

Well...yes, that's the American way! :)

I'll tell you a funny story. A couple of weeks ago I was working pre game for the Boston Celtics. there was a HUGE group of Japanese girls that I called over to see a card trick. I said, "HI" They all said "HI" I asked if they were enjoying the game and they all said, "Yes, very much" they said ALL of this without a hint of a hesitation or accent so I ASSUMED they might be American college kids.

Well, I start doing card to pocket and it becomes fairly obvious that I have a HUGE language barrier. As a guy who grew up in a multi cultural neighborhood and a guy who started his street performing career at a multicultural tourist mecca this wasn't a huge deal.

I say to the group, "No matter how bad your English is, it is MUCH better than my Japanese. To this they all started clapping and laughing. They got it. I then said, "So together I think we can have some fun are you ready? " They all said, "Yeah!"

And so I took a very professional position and said, "Konbanwa" (good evening) and they laughed hysterically. With just a few words, holding out the deck and saying, "Dozo" (please take one) and "Wakarimasu Ka" (Do you understand). I was able to do a 15 minute set for these kids that they loved. As a matter of fact, a pretty big crowd gathered and when I would say, "Warkarimasu Ka?" the girls would ALL respond with, "Warkarimasu!" (I understand!). By the end of the show the rest of teh audience were calling it out as well like it was the magic word.

After the show they all came up and thanked me and took pictures with me, etc ( I even got a couple of kisses on the cheek thankyouverymuchdon'ttellmywife! :) )

After they all walked off teh woman who hired me came up and said, I didn't know you spoke Japanese? I said, "I don't! I know like four words. but they are the right four words! :) )

Now you may be wondering why I bring this cute little story up... Let's put the shoe on the other foot and a group of American Tourists are in Canada and a French speaking performer is doing his show and realizes that he has an American speaking crowd and tries to pull off a show using the only four or five words of English he knows to bring them along for the ride. Within moments 99% of the people in the croud are going to think he's stupid because he doesn't speak english. When he mispronounces something he will be corrected like he is an idiot, and before too long they will become bored and move along. I've seen it happen.

How many times have you been standing in line to buy something and a person from another country is in front of you trying to make a purchase and is having problems but is really trying with the language. The cashier will often be frustrated and talking to that person like they are a moron when no matter how badly that person speaks english it is 1000 times better than the cashier speaks the other persons language. Now this person in line is probably NOT stupid. For all we know they may be a rocket scientist in their own country. Americans have no patience, a lot of ignorance, and tons of arrogance. It's the reason why a lot of other countries love us so much. :)

I may be totally off base here but I see it all the time, this is just my personal experience. YMMV

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: montymagi (Jan 13, 2009 01:55PM)
Wow I donít know weather to start with the ignorance or arrogance. I have lived in several foreign countries and visited others. I have spent time abroad with other Americans and have never found this to be the case. For one person to say that he knows that 99% of people, in a crowd that he has never met, will think a certain way is amazing.
Are there rude, stupid and insensitive people in America? Sure. Just like every other country I have been. Are there polite, sensitive and intelligent people in America? You bet; Danny himself is one judging by his story. Furthermore it is my experience that these people are the vast majority. That is the American way. It floors me that the people that would never stereotype people from another country or culture would so quickly stereotype Americans. When you insult Americans you insult me because I am an American, my children are mostly American (one is a duel citizen) and most the people I love are Americans. Iím sorry if this is seen as flaming but I believe it is still on the original topic. Was the woman unknowingly insulting, yes. Was the other 100 people that past by that day insulting? It does not sound like it.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 13, 2009 02:15PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 11:39, spacecop wrote:
Are Americans so stupid they cannot see the difference between a street performer and a stray animal? "quote"

so you are going to lump all Americans into one class because one old woman thought she was doing a good thing but was actually insulting? How many other countries have you been to? For that matter how many other states? I have been to several and let me inform you it is not just Americans and it is not by any streach of the imagination all Americans. We have some awsome buskers here in New Orleans and it is seen as an art form by most, misunderstood by some. I find your sterotypeing of "Americans" insulting, even if you are one.
[/quote]

How's that righteous indignation working out for you? Getting you any air time on the talk radio shows?

"all americans" was your phrase, not mine.

Incidentally when I lived and worked Jackson Square in New Orleans I could count the number of times I went to Slidell on one finger, so I hope you make it into the city more than I made it out...
Message: Posted by: montymagi (Jan 13, 2009 02:30PM)
I come to New Orleans every day. I work here.

"Quote"

Are Americans so stupid they cannot see the difference between a street performer and a stray animal?

Apparently so...

If a person makes a statement about gays or bartenders or Americans it is taken that they are refrenceing all of them.
Message: Posted by: John Bowlin (Jan 13, 2009 02:42PM)
Making cultural generalizations is never usually a good thing, nor is it very accurate. We are a world of individuals with all our faults and splendor displayed in every form imaginable in every country of the world. If WE choose to see the world( or just America) with cynicism, comtempt or through rose colored glasses then that is the world WE live in.

I may say or do something stupid on fairly regular occasion. If I do it in Boston I may be a stupid southerner, if I do it in Alabama I may be an arrogant Yank. To err is human..to forgive is to actually have a clue. I doubt anyone in here has the level of perfection to be casting stones at any individual for having a moment of insensitivity or lapse in judgement.

One story comes to mind for me. I walked into a bank and noticed the teller looked as though she might be due to give birth in a month or so. I looked at her...smiled and said...when are you due? I just wanted to acknowledge what I thought was a joyous and anticipated event. She turned bright red and in a very angry voice said.."I'm not pregnant". All I could say was "oh..I'm sorry". On the way out I could see her break into tears as she went off about me to her co-workers. I could not have felt more horrible or stupid at that moment. Did I wish I could say or do something to make that woman feel better, of course. Did I learn from that little incident...you bet! Had I been from somewhere and displayed some trait that pideonholed me I would probably have ruined an entire country of people for that woman. Look for reasons to find disdain in anything and chances are you will find it. It is actually possible to have a positive attitude and yet see the world as it truly is.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 13, 2009 06:11PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 13:29, Danny Hustle wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 11:39, spacecop wrote:
so you are going to lump all Americans into one class because one old woman thought she was doing a good thing but was actually insulting?
[/quote]

Well...yes, that's the American way! :)

I'll tell you a funny story. A couple of weeks ago I was working pre game for the Boston Celtics. there was a HUGE group of Japanese girls that I called over to see a card trick. I said, "HI" They all said "HI" I asked if they were enjoying the game and they all said, "Yes, very much" they said ALL of this without a hint of a hesitation or accent so I ASSUMED they might be American college kids.

Well, I start doing card to pocket and it becomes fairly obvious that I have a HUGE language barrier. As a guy who grew up in a multi cultural neighborhood and a guy who started his street performing career at a multicultural tourist mecca this wasn't a huge deal.

I say to the group, "No matter how bad your English is, it is MUCH better than my Japanese. To this they all started clapping and laughing. They got it. I then said, "So together I think we can have some fun are you ready? " They all said, "Yeah!"

And so I took a very professional position and said, "Konbanwa" (good evening) and they laughed hysterically. With just a few words, holding out the deck and saying, "Dozo" (please take one) and "Wakarimasu Ka" (Do you understand). I was able to do a 15 minute set for these kids that they loved. As a matter of fact, a pretty big crowd gathered and when I would say, "Warkarimasu Ka?" the girls would ALL respond with, "Warkarimasu!" (I understand!). By the end of the show the rest of teh audience were calling it out as well like it was the magic word.

After the show they all came up and thanked me and took pictures with me, etc ( I even got a couple of kisses on the cheek thankyouverymuchdon'ttellmywife! :) )

After they all walked off teh woman who hired me came up and said, I didn't know you spoke Japanese? I said, "I don't! I know like four words. but they are the right four words! :) )

Now you may be wondering why I bring this cute little story up... Let's put the shoe on the other foot and a group of American Tourists are in Canada and a French speaking performer is doing his show and realizes that he has an American speaking crowd and tries to pull off a show using the only four or five words of English he knows to bring them along for the ride. Within moments 99% of the people in the croud are going to think he's stupid because he doesn't speak english. When he mispronounces something he will be corrected like he is an idiot, and before too long they will become bored and move along. I've seen it happen.

How many times have you been standing in line to buy something and a person from another country is in front of you trying to make a purchase and is having problems but is really trying with the language. The cashier will often be frustrated and talking to that person like they are a moron when no matter how badly that person speaks english it is 1000 times better than the cashier speaks the other persons language. Now this person in line is probably NOT stupid. For all we know they may be a rocket scientist in their own country. Americans have no patience, a lot of ignorance, and tons of arrogance. It's the reason why a lot of other countries love us so much. :)

I may be totally off base here but I see it all the time, this is just my personal experience. YMMV

Best,

Dan-
[/quote]

Great story Dan, and one I can identify with. I am consistently complimented on my Korean, by Koreans whose English is far better than my Korean will ever be. The difference between the West and the East in that regard gives me some shame. You spoke about Americans lacking patience, but we get the same problems up here in Canada.

Incidentally, learning how to say "like this" in another language has saved my hide plenty of times, since you can just say "I Ro Kay" (or whatever) and mime whatever actions you need, such as shuffling or touching a card.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jan 14, 2009 02:51AM)
It seems like it wouldnt go astray, depending on cirucmstances, when we are likely to perform for people of another language for us to learn a few foreign phrases to accompany our particular routines. Or be great mimes. Smiles and cheerful attitudes, I think, are universal messages.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 14, 2009 03:51AM)
Getting back to the original post, though. The old woman was treating the violinist like a beggar. In fact, she was treating the violinist worse than a beggar. If a beggar actually wants food, most of us who would feed him or her would at least buy that beggar a decent meal, not a bag of leftovers.

I understand Gaddy's (and the violinist's) point. My father, who was a musician, thought that when I busked, I was begging. Then he saw me do it and realized that there was a different side to busking, one that he had never even imagined.

A lot of people are strongly prejudiced against buskers.

During the Great Folk Music Scare of the 1960's, I told a friend of mine that I had met and played for Lightnin' Hopkins, who was one of the great blues guitar players of that era. Her remark was, "We don't think much of him, because he played on the street."
Message: Posted by: pepka (Jan 14, 2009 04:50AM)
Remember the story that was posted here a year or so ago? Joshua Bell, world renowned violinist participated in an experiment by playing in a busy subway in Washington D.C. Very few people stopped to notice, even fewer dropped anything in his case. One person recognized him. He was relatively surprised at the money he did make. He felt that if he had to, he could almost make a meek living by doing this. (He makes about $100 a minute when he plays with symphonies all over the world.) In my city, the closest we get to buskers is a drunk with an out of tune guitar missing a string strumming one chord and making up his own lyrics. I usually toss in a few bucks hoping he'll stop and just go get a beer.
Message: Posted by: John Bowlin (Jan 14, 2009 07:40AM)
I remember the violinist experiment. He also stated that most to all of the money dropped in his case seemed out of pity as opposed to appreciation of his music and talent. The majority that dropped money in didn't even stop to listen. I wonder if we could get Copperfield to go for a busking experiment.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jan 14, 2009 08:05AM)
Street performing is an art in and of itself.

Don't expect a stage master to automatically be a master of street performing. Sure Copperfield would do OK...if he were in a part of the US where his face was known.

But take a master, say Ammar...whose face is not widely known to the general public and put him next to Bobby Maverick on the street...who do you think is gonna make the bigger hats?

Street performing is not about having the best chops, the most creative routine, or the newest trick. It's about making a connection with the audience that randomly makes up a street show...not the audience that willingly goes to the Castle to see a show. It's a whole different ball game...which requires its own strategies/subtleties/methodology.

Any performer can do a show on the street...but that's not being a street performer. Street performing is not a second eschalon ability. It requires its own mastery.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 14, 2009 08:17AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 14:55, spacecop wrote:
Wow I donít know weather to start with the ignorance or arrogance. I have lived in several foreign countries and visited others. I have spent time abroad with other Americans and have never found this to be the case. For one person to say that he knows that 99% of people, in a crowd that he has never met, will think a certain way is amazing.
[/quote]

Don't be confused, I was talking about the 99% of the crowd I DID MEET. That is why I said YMMV. I also admitted I could be all wet on the topic and that it was based on my personal observations. It is also based on conversations I've had with people from other countries and how those people have viewed Americans in their land. It is certainly a reputation we enjoy in other countries, the term 'ugly American' is not one I've made up and has even been portrayed as a stereotype in many films both foreign and domestic. An equal number of films also portray us as 'good guys' so I wouldn't worry too much about it. I do think it is something to be aware of and something to keep in mind weather we are dealing with visitors to our country or when we are in foreign lands.

[quote]
Are there rude, stupid and insensitive people in America? Sure. Just like every other country I have been. Are there polite, sensitive and intelligent people in America? You bet; Danny himself is one judging by his story. Furthermore it is my experience that these people are the vast majority. That is the American way. It floors me that the people that would never stereotype people from another country or culture would so quickly stereotype Americans. When you insult Americans you insult me because I am an American, my children are mostly American (one is a duel citizen) and most the people I love are Americans. Iím sorry if this is seen as flaming but I believe it is still on the original topic. Was the woman unknowingly insulting, yes. Was the other 100 people that past by that day insulting? It does not sound like it.
[/quote]

I understand your wanting to defend America...it's another trait most American's share (myself included!). I often try and do this when I hear someone say, "to a foreign person or about a foreign person, "learn to speak the language!" I am sure you will admit you have heard this term over and over by people if you live in a multicultural area. My response to that is always, "What makes you think they are not?"

Denying we have this reputation is the same as not doing anything about it. I'm sure you are not one of the 'ugly Americans' but they are out there, and they are out there in droves according to what I hear. Again, YMMV I'd just like people to be aware of it, if a person is aware of it they are more likely to be sensitive to it.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 14, 2009 08:22AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 15:42, John Bowlin wrote:

One story comes to mind for me. I walked into a bank and noticed the teller looked as though she might be due to give birth in a month or so. I looked at her...smiled and said...when are you due? I just wanted to acknowledge what I thought was a joyous and anticipated event. She turned bright red and in a very angry voice said.."I'm not pregnant". All I could say was "oh..I'm sorry".
[/quote]

OH JOHN! My skin just crawled a foot on that one! I think we have ALL done that ONCE! :)

Oh god, I can remember my own run in with that particular experience and you are 100% right! Good point!

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 14, 2009 08:30AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 08:40, John Bowlin wrote:
I remember the violinist experiment. He also stated that most to all of the money dropped in his case seemed out of pity as opposed to appreciation of his music and talent. The majority that dropped money in didn't even stop to listen. I wonder if we could get Copperfield to go for a busking experiment.
[/quote]

As Chad pointed out and I will try to clarify, the true ART to street performing is to remove the idea of begging from your audiences mind and have them see you as ONLY an entertainer. You know you have achieved this when you start booking corporate gigs from the street.

In Boston there is a violin player that makes $500 a night, he's a great violin player but he's also a great entertainer and street performer.

People give you more money when they see you as an entertainer than they do when they see you as a beggar. Like the 'ugly American' the 'beggar performer' is another stereotype I would like to see changed in the eyes of most people here in the states. I try and do it one show at a time.

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 14, 2009 11:14AM)
Some say to dress like you "need money".
I'm not sure what she was wearing but clearly this incident gives credence to the opposite approach.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Jan 14, 2009 11:40AM)
I wish I could find the link but I remember reading about a study done not too long ago. Sometime late last year. The study interviewed Hotel workers in cities througout the world and were asked something like, "Who are the most rude travelers." I think that the French won in that case.

My point isn't to denegrate the French, (I may even be wrong about who won), but to just point out that we here in the US often think of ourselves as the worst because of the long standing myth of the "ugly American". I suspect most countries have, percentage wise, just as many rude travelers as we do. I also don't buy Danny's comparison. Even if you've seen it happen, too many variables for it to be a valid comparison. You performed for a bunch of Japanese "girls" VS American "tourists". Could age have been a factor? How about the quality of the performance? How about the sophistication of the people watching. How about cultural differences and previous opportunities to see street performers? Maybe it was a totally new experience for the Japanese girls and 'fun' because of it while it was a bit pedestrian for the American tourists and they lost interest.

I just saw it as a bad attempt to draw a larger inference.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Jan 14, 2009 11:44AM)
Boy, that didn't take long. I just blew one of my New Years resolutions not to waste time on argumentative posts. Dang!!

BTW, my son always finishes off the leftovers that we bring back from the restaurant. Does that mean that he is no better than my dog???
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jan 14, 2009 11:59AM)
I don't see the lady as "rude." Her actions may have been misinterpreted, but it sounds like she was sincerely trying to help.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 14, 2009 01:21PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 12:44, rockwall wrote:
Boy, that didn't take long. I just blew one of my New Years resolutions not to waste time on argumentative posts. Dang!!

BTW, my son always finishes off the leftovers that we bring back from the restaurant. Does that mean that he is no better than my dog???
[/quote]

HA!

Glad I was the one who got you rolling! :)

the variables in your post do not apply as I have had this same experience street performing for people from other countries as well and they are always VERY appreciative of my attemts to use their language.

I said it was [b]MY[/b] experience and that a lot of people (NOT ALL) feel that way about American Tourists. It was not meant by any means to be a scientific survey or one to put Americans as a whole down. I threw it out there because I think it is something we should all be aware of and try just a bit to be sensitive too. MANY PEOPLE ALL READY ARE> I was not trying to be pious at all and John made a GREAT example of how we ALL can step off on the wrong foot from time to time.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion and you may also be right...Maybe the world does see us as sensitive free thinkers, that has not however been my experience. I think it would be great if one day that were also the stereotype of Americans.

It was just my opinion and certainly not worth arguing about. Felling differently about it is absolutely A-OK in my book and you don't need to convince me. :)

Best,

Dan-
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Jan 14, 2009 01:54PM)
Danny, no comment. back onto the resolution! :)

Anyone see Gran Torino? Funny part where Clint Eastwood is in the neighbors house and pat's a vietnamese child on the head and instantly offends every adult in the room. He is then taken to another room where he is given a quick lesson in all the ways to offend that he's not aware of.

I agree that she probably thought she was making a nice gesture and didn't mean to offend regardless of how offensive many found it. So, my question. Should we be disgusted by people who inadvertantly offend or should we be more interested in their intentions?
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jan 14, 2009 02:04PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 14:54, rockwall wrote:
... Should we be disgusted by people who inadvertantly offend or should we be more interested in their intentions?
[/quote]

Can't we have both?
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 14, 2009 02:47PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 15:04, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 14:54, rockwall wrote:
... Should we be disgusted by people who inadvertantly offend or should we be more interested in their intentions?
[/quote]

Can't we have both?
[/quote]

Only if you make one decafe. :)
Message: Posted by: amerigo (Jan 14, 2009 02:49PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 13:29, Danny Hustle wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-01-13 11:39, spacecop wrote:
so you are going to lump all Americans into one class because one old woman thought she was doing a good thing but was actually insulting?
[/quote]

Well...yes, that's the American way! :)

Reminds me of the story of the Mexican taxi driver and the American tourist

The Taxi driver tells the American he can speak 4 languages Spanish, English, Italian and Japanese.
The American is amazed and upon asking why Japanese is told that in Mexico there are many Japanese tourists and it became neccessary for his job.

The taxi driver then asks the American " What do they call you if you can speak 3 languages?"

The American replies " Trilingual."

The Taxi driver then asks " What do they call you if you can speak 2 languages?"

The American answers "Bilingual."

The taxi driver then asks " What do they call you if you can only speak 1 language?"

The American has no idea.

The taxi answers "American , and then goes on to say that Americans think if you can't speak English, you must be stupid."

God bless the U.S.A.
.



I'll tell you a funny story. A couple of weeks ago I was working pre game for the Boston Celtics. there was a HUGE group of Japanese girls that I called over to see a card trick. I said, "HI" They all said "HI" I asked if they were enjoying the game and they all said, "Yes, very much" they said ALL of this without a hint of a hesitation or accent so I ASSUMED they might be American college kids.

Well, I start doing card to pocket and it becomes fairly obvious that I have a HUGE language barrier. As a guy who grew up in a multi cultural neighborhood and a guy who started his street performing career at a multicultural tourist mecca this wasn't a huge deal.

I say to the group, "No matter how bad your English is, it is MUCH better than my Japanese. To this they all started clapping and laughing. They got it. I then said, "So together I think we can have some fun are you ready? " They all said, "Yeah!"

And so I took a very professional position and said, "Konbanwa" (good evening) and they laughed hysterically. With just a few words, holding out the deck and saying, "Dozo" (please take one) and "Wakarimasu Ka" (Do you understand). I was able to do a 15 minute set for these kids that they loved. As a matter of fact, a pretty big crowd gathered and when I would say, "Warkarimasu Ka?" the girls would ALL respond with, "Warkarimasu!" (I understand!). By the end of the show the rest of teh audience were calling it out as well like it was the magic word.

After the show they all came up and thanked me and took pictures with me, etc ( I even got a couple of kisses on the cheek thankyouverymuchdon'ttellmywife! :) )

After they all walked off teh woman who hired me came up and said, I didn't know you spoke Japanese? I said, "I don't! I know like four words. but they are the right four words! :) )

Now you may be wondering why I bring this cute little story up... Let's put the shoe on the other foot and a group of American Tourists are in Canada and a French speaking performer is doing his show and realizes that he has an American speaking crowd and tries to pull off a show using the only four or five words of English he knows to bring them along for the ride. Within moments 99% of the people in the croud are going to think he's stupid because he doesn't speak english. When he mispronounces something he will be corrected like he is an idiot, and before too long they will become bored and move along. I've seen it happen.

How many times have you been standing in line to buy something and a person from another country is in front of you trying to make a purchase and is having problems but is really trying with the language. The cashier will often be frustrated and talking to that person like they are a moron when no matter how badly that person speaks english it is 1000 times better than the cashier speaks the other persons language. Now this person in line is probably NOT stupid. For all we know they may be a rocket scientist in their own country. Americans have no patience, a lot of ignorance, and tons of arrogance. It's the reason why a lot of other countries love us so much. :)

I may be totally off base here but I see it all the time, this is just my personal experience. YMMV

Best,

Dan-
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 14, 2009 03:02PM)
I was in Portugal, a young man watched my show Afterwards he came up to me and thanked me for my show. He explained that he had no money but he like it if I came back to his for dinner. I said no thanks I am fine, ten min latter he was back and I was now pulling a new show. He struted up to my case and put a bag next to my prop bag and than just strutted off. At the end of my show I looked into that bag and their was a half eaten Idian Curry, with half of the rice left and a half eaten nan bread.

Some days latter the same guy joined my audiance and watched my show. This time he came and poured hundreads of one all tow cences into my hat. I reckon about 5euro worth he explained he had to break his pig but wanted to give what he had

The way I see it he was the poor *** and I felt sorry for him.
Mario
PS The ones the P me of are the ones that watch my show enjoy them selfs then sneak of with their money deep in their pocket, bloody theives.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 14, 2009 03:55PM)
I will not go into details here, but there was an occasion in the Midlands UK when we made no money at all from a three day busk on a showground. We were supposed to be paid on completion by the management but they ran out on us. We were broke, out of food and diesel.

It soon got around about our plight and yes we accepted doggie bags,,,hell it saved us. Also a family of gypsies gave us fuel for the trip home!!! Been there and done it out of neccesity.


On another note >>> have busked all over and there is nothing wrong with the yanks, in fact on a human and understanding plain I have found American audiences to be the most responsive, non offensive and truly generouse with the hat. I would put them in second place only to the Dutch on a rateing basis.

My own observations based on thirty plus years of on and off busking.

Ken.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 14, 2009 04:06PM)
Happy New Year Ken
That is a fact, their have been times in my life to that I would have eaten his left overs for sure, would have saved me looking for it. Where was he when I needed him, hay? (Answers on a post card)
Mario
PS Trust the Brits to stand up for the great doggie bag.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Jan 14, 2009 04:43PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 16:55, Kondini wrote:
...
I have found American audiences to be the most responsive, non offensive and truly generouse with the hat.
...
[/quote]

Well, that must be because all Yanks are rich! At least, that is what I discovered everyone believed on my last trip to China! :) Everything is relative, right?
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 14, 2009 04:57PM)
I was an American tourist in London and Amsterdam in the fall. Everyone was dressed nicely as we toured the cities. When we got to the airport to come back to the US we were directed to "get in line over there" so we started walking and...

...well...

It was a crowd of loud, obnoxious people.
They were wearing cargo shorts that hung way too low (or cargo pants that were way too high), flip flops and hoodies. They strutting around like they owned the place(i don't know how you can strut while you stand in line but they did). It was not the proudest moment of the trip for me.

I kinda wanted to hide.
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Jan 14, 2009 05:51PM)
To bad you weren't wearing your change bag/cargo pocket pants...you coulda been audi 500 in a heartbeat.
Message: Posted by: acephale (Jan 15, 2009 12:15AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 04:51, Bill Palmer wrote:
During the Great Folk Music Scare of the 1960's, I told a friend of mine that I had met and played for Lightnin' Hopkins, who was one of the great blues guitar players of that era.
[/quote]

Holy crap, you played for Lightnin' Hopkins? Someday I'm going to have to buy you drinks. Plus I figure you for a Von Ronk type of guy with the Folk Music Scare phrase.

On the topic, last year when we were traveling the news was showing a story about the worst tourists. I can't remember if it was hostel workers that were surveyed so it might not have been the same one, but the ranking went Brits first, then Germans. Americans came out fourth or fifth which caused us to breathe a sigh of relief.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 15, 2009 02:23AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-15 01:15, acephale wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 04:51, Bill Palmer wrote:
During the Great Folk Music Scare of the 1960's, I told a friend of mine that I had met and played for Lightnin' Hopkins, who was one of the great blues guitar players of that era.
[/quote]

Holy crap, you played for Lightnin' Hopkins? Someday I'm going to have to buy you drinks. Plus I figure you for a Von Ronk type of guy with the Folk Music Scare phrase.

On the topic, last year when we were traveling the news was showing a story about the worst tourists. I can't remember if it was hostel workers that were surveyed so it might not have been the same one, but the ranking went Brits first, then Germans. Americans came out fourth or fifth which caused us to breathe a sigh of relief.
[/quote]

Ugh! Foreigners in American hostels are the worst... Wretched folk, from my experience. Every single bloody last one of them! (except the ones that were not...)
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 15, 2009 02:37AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-14 12:14, Frank Starsini wrote:
Some say to dress like you "need money".
I'm not sure what she was wearing but clearly this incident gives credence to the opposite approach.
[/quote]

For the record, she was wearing some pretty hot "burner" wear. I was digging it, at least....
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 15, 2009 05:16AM)
[/quote]

Ugh! Foreigners in American hostels are the worst... Wretched folk, from my experience. Every single bloody last one of them! (except the ones that were not...)
[/quote]
LOL
Message: Posted by: Hernan (Jan 17, 2009 05:48AM)
I like left-overs
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 17, 2009 11:04PM)
I'm certain she didn't mean anything negative about it. She was probably taking those things home for herself and thought she'd give it to someone else.

If this sort of thing bothers you, you might want to read the opening of Harlan Ellison's "New York Review of Bird" which takes his nom de plume (Cordwainer Bird) and makes him an action hero nephew to The Shadow!
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 18, 2009 02:05AM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-17 06:48, Hernan wrote:
I like left-overs
[/quote]

Hernan, don't make me beat you! :D
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 18, 2009 11:28AM)
Then you'll get the Masters of the Universe on your case! :lol:
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jan 18, 2009 02:54PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-18 12:28, ed rhodes wrote:
Then you'll get the Masters of the Universe on your case! :lol:
[/quote]


LOL! :rotf:

HERNAN, not heman (although he is quite a stud, ladies. But I'm pretty sure he's married...)
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 20, 2009 01:14PM)
I swear the "r" and the "n" ran together! I even looked up at "hernan's" avatar and it looked like "heman" there too!