[lit-ideas] Re: Poles

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 17:09:05 -0800

on 12/10/04 5:44 PM, Ursula Stange at Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> When I moved to Canada in 1968, I discovered the same jokes, only aimed
> at Newfies.   I didn't realize that Polack jokes had a larger venue than
> Chicago.   I always assumed that it had something to do with their
> relative social status in Chicago, but if the Polack joke is more
> widespread, then that's not likely the sole answer.
> Now, I'm guessing that none of this answers your question, David.   The
> general observation is that every culture identifies its 'out' group.
> But I guess you're asking how the Poles got to be that out group for so
> much of the States.   Were Polack jokes told in Atlanta?   In Seattle?
> In Memphis?   In Truth or Consequences?   I don't know.   But those
> answers surely inform the main answer.

People tell me that Polack jokes were widespread.

The joke I reported, the one about three people being stranded in the
desert, is now going the rounds in the guise of a blonde joke.

I'm no nearer knowing why, for example, the Swiss--who immigrated in the
same period and who were regarded by some to be ignorant, mountain people
(see on this the classic, W.A. Baillie Grohman, "Gaddings With a Primitive
People")--weren't the butt of such jokes.

David Ritchie
Portland, Oregon

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