1 Sep 2013

Let's Play the Stereo(type)!

True or false? Paris is the most romantic city in the world. - All Scots have red hair and freckles. - Germans have no sense of humour. - Russians drink vodka for breakfast. - Italians can cook. - Cowboys are the good guys and native Indians the villains. - It always rains in Seattle. - Brazilian girls look like Adriana Lima. - Rich people have no care in the world. - Indonesia will never run out of wood forests. - Nobody likes snakes. - (Huh, get the jist of it?)

To some degree and at least once in a while, we are guilty of turning a personal observation or a general perception of things, a flavour of the month, into an urban myth or universal statement of truth. Whether it be in private conversation behind closed doors or out in the media world at large (relayed mainly via the tabloid press, reality TV programmes, talk shows and fly-on-the-wall documentaries). We resort to the 'good old' cliché, cultivate the art of pigeonhole, attach stereotype labels to people, places and situations, be it willingly or as a slip of the tongue or in a bid to sound witty, cool and with it, with the risk of sarcasm taking over wit, to paraphrase wordsmith genius Oscar Wilde, as what might appear as innocent banter or good clean fun may not always be interpreted as such!

Generally though stereotypes are intended as a bit of an in-joke, sometimes loosely used as an ice-breaker at dinner parties to prompt a reaction. Bearing in mind that pushed to the limit, stereotypes have the power to be downright damaging - we get it!

On the lighter side of cyberlife, Yes But No encapsulates a few of those tongue-in-cheek statements. Gotta say I've had a field day going through them (!), and here's my 6 faves:

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