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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, July 14

Gapers Block

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Spook / September 20, 2006 12:39 AM

Pardon, I'm not from round these parts, but what does "Indian Summer"? mean?

veronique / September 20, 2006 1:24 AM

I feel like it's going to be pretty nippy outside. I hope the Indian Summer comes soon. I think early October. Then it'll get super icy cold. Those few 75-85 degree days I will reliquish myself on the beach like a crook.

Gwen / September 20, 2006 6:39 AM

They mean 'Native American Summer' or 'Indigeneous People Summer', Spook.

They are just being insensitive and promoting racial stereotypes with this question.

Of course, they will probably want to throw a party on Columbus Day, too.

Veronica / September 20, 2006 7:39 AM

Indian Summer refers to a period of warm weather that occurs after summer is officially over. It usually happens in October or November when you think we're already in winter mode.

Personally, I'm never a fan of that random hot period. I like the weather like it is right now....just cool enough to wear a nice jacket and snuggle under the covers at night. It's also good hot cocoa, tea, and soup weather (but without feeling like you're freezing your vitals off like in winter).

Strawberry / September 20, 2006 8:00 AM

Seems to me like we've had several very mild winters in a row-- both temp and snow-wise. So I'm voting VERY cold and LOTS of snow. And Indian Summer will occur for 4 days on October 17-20th. Bank on that!

Mr. T / September 20, 2006 8:49 AM

My prediction: PAIN.

Dan / September 20, 2006 9:02 AM

To quote the movie Groundhog Day,

"You want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life. "

I think that just about sums it up.

eep / September 20, 2006 9:10 AM

I hope so. This is my favorite season, so if an Indian Summer prolongs autumn even for an extra week, I'm all for it.

matty / September 20, 2006 9:19 AM

why does this place attract the PC police? jeesh.

I hate "indiginous summers" for the same reasons as strawberry. I like it fairly cold but not too cold, not too dry, and I like to see the sun too (rain is OK so long as I'm indoors). In a word, I like the fall.

And inidiginous summer will be from 8:12am 10/12- 4:56 pm 10/19. Odds are playing at 10,025/1.

mike-ts / September 20, 2006 9:26 AM

Of course we will have a Native American summer. Then a cold winter, with snow. Tonight, I predict darkness, followed in the morning by a period of light, which in a few days should equal the dark period before waning even more.

Btw, what's the deal with people walking around in sweaters and jackets, yet still wearing SHORTS? Unless you're jogging up a sweat, if it's cold enough for more than a tee, it's cold enough for long pants, and for 35 year olds to quit looking like 10 year old Beavises and Buttheads.

How come there's no defined "Indian Winter"? I mean, in April and May we have nasty cold spells that kill all the expensive landscaping and flower box plants that the dummies and new to the area people always plant in April. I like the name Viking Winter. When the Viking comes to town, you go inside and hide in the warmth and wait for him to pass on through before enjoying the outdoors again. "I told Ma, don't plant those peonies for a couple more weeks, the Viking's still on the loose." "I planted my tomato starters, and a Viking raid killed them last night." "You're stupid to paint those gutters today. The Viking won't let that dry."

And these stupid names. Indian Summer, Indian Spring apple juice, etc. In honor of my patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel (feast day, 29th of September), I nominate St. Michael's Summer.

NSH / September 20, 2006 9:27 AM

Indian Summer occurs when temperatures reach a summer time high after the first frost.
And yes, we will have an Indian Summer.
And no, it has nothing to do with Indian hunting season.

Marilyn / September 20, 2006 9:36 AM

I guess you know that the term "Indian Summer" is offensive because it refers to a false summer, and redskins were supposed to be liars and cheats. Obviously a psychological projection of the white man...

Allan / September 20, 2006 9:49 AM

Did you guys know that Indian Summer is a brand of Apple Juice. What a cowinky-dink eh.

Heeeeeeyyyyyyyyy Strawberry! You talk so smart. Want to go for a walk? Chinatown perhaps?

Chief Illiniwek / September 20, 2006 9:56 AM

Indian summer will occur on Oct 14, when the University of Illinois Fighting Illini (led by Chief Illiniwek) scalp Ohio.

Spook / September 20, 2006 10:04 AM

I do use the term from time to time, but only with close friends and family and even then discussions around the continued use of this sad term follow.

I'd never use it in a public avenue such as this, because it stems from calling a certain still victimized people dishonest as coined by people who cheated, stole from, and almost drove them to extinction while justifying it on another lie, that they were savages. I also refrain from calling Maxwell Street, "Jew Town".
And Politically Correct is a term brilliantly invented by the Right Wing like Rush Limbaugh to keep marginizled people and those that defend them silent as oppose to devoting more time to serious intellectual wresting, again that Socratic questioning that so many of us fear in this society in dealing with certain historical legacies( and their dogmas) established through greed and violence, still very much intact today.

And come on, how much time should we spend on the "weather"?

NSH / September 20, 2006 10:10 AM

Hey Chief, what's the best way to get an Ohio State grad off your porch?

Pay him for the pizza.

madachode / September 20, 2006 10:14 AM

isn't spook a racial term?
stop trying to look smart and get to work.

Allan / September 20, 2006 10:15 AM

I totally agree with spook except for all that stuff he just said. Unless spook happens to be a sexy lady in which case....

Heeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyy spook! You so crazy. Want to go for a walk. Jew Town perhaps we could pick up a Polish.

Marilyn / September 20, 2006 10:42 AM

Allan, can I have some of what you're on????

Andrew / September 20, 2006 11:00 AM

Personally, I don't associate the term "Indian Summer" with Native Americans at all, other than the ghostly ones in that illustration that used to appear in the Tribune Magazine every autumn. And I certainly don't feel it's a negative connotation. The Wikipedia entry lists several theories on the term's origin, none of which have anything to do with perceived dishonesty, although one does refer to the tendency of Native Americans to raid settler villages around that time.

If someone can suggest a commonly used term other than Indian Summer for the referred-to weather event, I'd love to hear it. The Wikipedia entry says it's called "Old Wive's Summer" in England, but I doubt any of you would know what I was talking about if I said that.

paul / September 20, 2006 11:04 AM

Geesh, it's getting so nasty in here that a guy with Viking ancestry can't walk around in shorts any more without being persecuted.

My prediction is that I'll be wearing shorts for a couple of days in the third week of October, and you all will fear the wrath that is my white northern european legs.

And just to make sure the alternative sexual minorites and other sensitive groups are offended while we're talking about the weather, this winter is going to be butt-fucking cold.

halloween! / September 20, 2006 11:15 AM

The best Indian summers as a kid were when they happened right around Halloween, and you didn't have to put on a jacket over your costume. So I'm hoping that's when it happens again, for the kids.

BTW, I'm of native american ancestry and was always taught "indian summer" had to do with fall festivals and farming stuff.

leah / September 20, 2006 11:26 AM

oooh ooh yeah! I wished for the freak 60-degree day every year as a kid. I pitched a fit when I had to wear my winter coat over my ballerina costume.


The winter will be cold & people will complain & I will wipe out a bunch, but still polar bears are drowning, y'all.

mike / September 20, 2006 11:26 AM

Haloween 1999 was like that. I borrowed my roomate's scrubs and went out as a doctor. It was like wearing PJs that 70 degree night. Nice and comfy.

Spook / September 20, 2006 11:34 AM

Wow a substantive discussion on the world ?Indian summer?. Very cool.
I?m gonna adopt Old Wive's Summer"! Sounds sort of haunting like fall.
And you might wanna pass on Allen?s ?offerings? Marilyn,I think for Allen is all about the Viagra and Boones farm wine out the box, from sun up to sundown

p.s yea I know, its bad yall, but I'm into the global warmed winters. I'm a hot weather freak. Its never too hot for yer Spook, only too cold, heck I turned my heat on last night!

spook / September 20, 2006 11:38 AM

opps "word" indian summer

Wendy / September 20, 2006 11:40 AM

This damn thing doesn't still run in the Tribune every year, does it?

Clubber Lang / September 20, 2006 11:42 AM

My prediction?


fluffy / September 20, 2006 11:45 AM

there's a lady here at work that is obssessed with the weather. who cares if it's 70 instead of 72? big deal. I know it's hot in the summer, and cold in winter. whatever the weather is, you still have to deal with it, so why do people obssess?

I'm not complaining about the Fuel question, I just never understood why it matters so much. blah.

NSH / September 20, 2006 11:56 AM

When someone asked Bill Murray what he liked best about living in Chicago. He replied the cold weather scares all the freaks and wierdos back home in January.

From the looks of the city lately I think we really need a cold winter this year.

Andrew / September 20, 2006 12:21 PM

Wendy, I think they finally retired it, but I could be wrong.

Felix / September 20, 2006 12:50 PM

It's Injun Summer, not "Indian Summer".

Indian Summer is monsoon season; Injun Summer not so much.

The proper etiquette concerning cashmere/Kashmir is disputed in both case, however.

Allan / September 20, 2006 12:50 PM

Allow me to offer up another theory on the origins of the term "Indian Summer"

The term Indian Summer describes a tasty tidbit of unseasonably warm weather during an unlikely season. It was most likely named after the skimpy bikini-like outfits the early colonist would wear on such temperate days while harvesting the corn making them appear to be wearing Native American garb. The term became solidified in the vernacular when a popular music group of the day incorporated it into one of their singles aptly titled "Indian Summer". Over 100 years later the song was covered by the popular 80's band the Go-Go's fronted by the very sexy Belinda Carlile. Fearing a potential lawsuit the band altered the lyrics replacing the word "Indian" with "Cruel". A little known fact. Please direct any disputes to:


Meet me at the 7-Eleven in Chinatown and I will reveal to you the elixir of life! Then maybe we could get busy? In the park perhaps.

RevDave / September 20, 2006 1:09 PM

I predict we're screwed this winter. We hardly got any snow last year and it was only really cold for about a month...

fluffy / September 20, 2006 1:20 PM

Bananarama sang Cruel Summer, not the Go-Go's.

MC High Life / September 20, 2006 1:23 PM

I remember a dream I had where I was guarding Conan O'Brien in an NBA basketball game. A bunch of dogs had courtside seats and then stormed the court towards the end of the game. Needless to say, O'Brien dominated me down low.

When did Indian Summers become predictable?

Dutch101 / September 20, 2006 2:16 PM

Are you idiots seriously debating the cultural sensitivity of "Indian Summer" or am I missing the sarcasm. A brief look at Wikipedia mentions no POSSIBLE origins for the term that are even remotely derogatory. Also, I have never in my life, which I wager was spent around far more Native Americans than any of you, heard any of them get upset about it. Any number of other valid or semi-valid Indian or Squaw jabs, sure, but never this. You people really need to get a grip.

Oh, and as far as the winter goes, I am hoping for freakin' Siberia here. I haven't felt as though there has been a real winter in years, anywhere I've lived in the past decade.

greg / September 20, 2006 2:27 PM

The Wikipedia entry says it's called "Old Wive's Summer" in England, but I doubt any of you would know what I was talking about if I said that.

Plus you'd be a filthy Ageist.

I get the idea the past couple Fuel topics have been designed specifically to get good material out of Blagg.

Marilyn / September 20, 2006 2:48 PM

Dutch - Your faith in the veracity of Wikipedia, which is not fact checked and can be written by anyone, is amazing!

There was indeed a lot of controversy about the McCutcheon story, "Injun Summer" that eventually had the Tribune wondering if they should keep up the tradition of running it. Can't remember seeing it recently, so I guess they put it to bed.

Here's a little on the origins of the controversy surrounding the term:

"Surveying the various explanations for "Indian giver" you offer, I'd say the truth contains a bit of all three. The phrase dates back to the early 19th century and originally meant someone who gives a gift in the expectation of receiving something of greater value in return, which was indeed a custom among Indians that must have struck early European settlers as rather odd. Later on, the phrase came to mean a "false gift," as the adjective "Indian" itself took on the pejorative meaning of "false" or "mock," a sense also found in "Indian Summer" and "Indian corn." While it's true that the European settlers had a far worse reputation when it came to trustworthiness than the Indians did, the victors in history usually get to make up the idioms, so it's doubtful that "Indian giver" refers to the manner in which the settlers treated the Indians. It would be a quite a stretch to credit 19th century European settlers with the honesty to have recognized that they, and not the Indians, were the "Indian givers" in most cases. "


Allan / September 20, 2006 2:58 PM


I am afraid you are wrong. It was indeed the GO-GO'S that sang cruel summer I am so sure of the fact. that I will wager you a night on the town if I am wrong. I will personally take you to the reasonably priced eatery of your choice if I lose the wager.

Daniel LaRusso / September 20, 2006 3:07 PM

Written by Tony Swain, Steve Jolley, Keren Woodward, Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey

Performed by Bananarama

Courtesy of Polygram Special Projects, A division of Polygram Records, Inc.

Thanks, IMDB!


Josh / September 20, 2006 3:51 PM

I never knew what "Indian Summer" meant. Whenever it arrived, I'd just say "Oh, it's warm today."

roderick / September 20, 2006 3:55 PM

You know, I always thought of Indian Summer as a warm period, not just a day ot two. Going by the second definition of only a day or two, then yes, I do think we'll have an Indian Summer: October 29, when I run my first ever 5K.

Otherwise this winter: Cold. But I like "pain." Wish I could have come up with that.

Stay on-topic, bitches.

felix / September 20, 2006 3:58 PM

Injun Summer authenticated for Marilyn, since our faith in the veracity of, which may or may not be fact checked and can be written by anyone, is less than amazing.

Andy / September 20, 2006 4:17 PM

I like how Marilyn quotes from word detective, but fails to give the actual passage about "Indian Summer." Here it is:

We do know that "Indian summer" first appeared in the 1770's in an essay about winter in the colonies written by a French immigrant farmer named, hold on to your hat, J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. J. Hector described Indian summer as "a short interval of smoke and mildness," which raises several possibilities about the name. The smoke may have been due to the Indians setting fires to drive game out of hiding before heavy snows made hunting more difficult, or they may have been burning grasslands to prepare for the next spring's planting. It is also possible that the Indians were taking advantage of this last bit of good weather to move to their winter hunting grounds.

It is possible, on the other hand, that "Indian summer" is a disparaging use of "Indian" to mean "false" or "unreliable." The most well-known example of this syndrome is the term "Indian giver," meaning someone who gives a gift, only to later take it back. ("Indian giver," incidentally, is based on a misunderstanding of Indian traditions, where a gift was given in expectation of receiving one of greater value in return, but never "taken back.")

I tend to believe that there's nothing wrong with "Indian summer" because early uses of the term make no mention of it being a "false" summer, stressing instead the various activities of the Indians mentioned above.

That settles it for me.

As for this winter, honestly, I don't care. I do hope we see a little more snow this year, but not too much snow. I hate shoveling!

Spook / September 20, 2006 5:29 PM

Although we have a long standing History- as old as this country itself- of Murderous Genocide against the original people of this nation and continue to screw and debase them at every turn, as ingrained and easy as our
Idolization of John Wayne and the myth of the old west, we have two equally sad extremes here: the rabid Dutch 101 who dismisses/ belittles serious debate and questioning on this subject by being oh so ready to "wager" that he has spent his life "around far more Native Americans than any" of us, which gives him title to speak for THEM and use the word sqaw. And then on the other NPR side is Josh who inspite of OUR legacy of genocide of those childern, women and men and the continued oppression of them, innocently proclaims to have just never thought about what it meant, just as Ronald Reagan proclaimed never to have thought about race.
last but not least is Andy
who says he belives there is
nothing wrong with Indian summer. Perhpas because its just easier that way.
To me these are some of the roots of 9/11

Spook / September 20, 2006 5:32 PM

p.s Long Live Clubber Lang!

ha, the irony / September 20, 2006 6:02 PM

A fine analysis of racially appropriate language by someone who calls himself "spook". Give me a break.

Dutch101 / September 20, 2006 6:29 PM

I would suggest that you read the excellent Atlantic Monthly piece about the origins of Wikipedia with regard to its factualness or lack thereof. It left me with the impression that there are enough busybodies, many of whom are credentialed, who ARE fact checking it that for the most part, Wiki will give you a pretty decent answer. I would be more inclined to think that word detective is more open to fanciful interpretations and personal bias toward the origins of a term.

Besides, as to its appropriateness, I will just operate off of the fact that no American Indian that I have ever met has taken offense to it, and I have heard them use it too.

Being too thin-skinned and overly zealous about being PC really only impovrishes the language.

C'mon / September 20, 2006 6:41 PM

This is saying a lot, but that last post (5:32) is the most ridiculous thing you've ever posted, spook. The rare moments when you actually flirt with having something productive to say are invariably overshadowed by your penchant for just being a self-righteous jackass.

You do more to harm the causes you supposedly espouse than a thousand Rush Limbaughs because you just can't differentiate between being a gadfly and a dick.

I'm sure this won't put a dent in your self deluded armor, because, as much as you pay lip service to progressive causes, you're really about your own little ego. So rant away in your childish way, doing much more harm than good.

Dutch101 / September 20, 2006 6:41 PM

Also, I really don't claim to "speak" for the Native Americans, only comment that I have never had one take offense to the particular phrase "Indian Summer". As background, my mother (though white) was born and raised on one of the poorest Indian reservations in the nation, where our family still has a farm. I went to grade school, jr. high, and high school with, compared to most of the US, a very high proportion of Native Americans. In that time, and in my interaction, discussion, friendship, etc. with Native Americans, I have never once heard any of them complain about the term "Indian Summer." Several other things, sure, but never that.

Marilyn / September 20, 2006 6:49 PM

Wiki is good for a start. I would never use it as my authoritative source. There is no way to tell what has been properly vetted and what has not. I used to work for World Book, so I know what it takes to really do a proper fact check on an encyclopedia listing.

The Word Detective has been around a long time and, though he does not cite his sources in all his answers, he does use them. If I asked for a cite, I'm sure I'd get one.

Be that as it may, I was alive and witness to the controversy over the McCutcheon story, which, I admit, may have more to do with the content of the story than with the term "Injun Summer." Nonetheless, this interpretation of the term is legitimate, no matter what it originally meant. Gay didn't used to mean homosexual; vicious, its polar-opposite term, did. Things change.

Being too thin-skinned is in the eye of the beholder. The language can survive the loss of a few offensive words and phrases.

Dutch101 / September 20, 2006 7:11 PM

Well, I am of the opinion that the final arbitor of what is or is not an offensive reference should be the person who the reference, well, references.

For GB's demographic (which, by my experience, is pretty lilly white for a city with the ethnic make up of Chicago) to make calls about language that can only be called derogatory by a pretty big leap of logic is ridiculous. Admittedly, I cannot say that the term would not be offensive to any NA persons out there, but I can say that I have seen no CONVINCING evidence, printed or in practice, that would lead me to believe that this is offensive to the very people who we are attempting to be culturally sensitive to.

Spook / September 20, 2006 9:19 PM

Wow, such deep discussions. Interesting point Dutch 101, but could it be that on the Res., they had bigger fish to fry than discussing Indian Summer? And as far as "them" using the term amongst themselves, don’t oppressed groups do this all the time, appropriate offensive terms to “render” them harmless? And could it be that perhaps they didn’t complain, then, because like any oppressed group, it takes time for them to “find “their voice? Isn’t this why after all these years the University of Illinois is finally being called out on it’s “mascot”?
And yes yes yes, GP is very lily white. And recognizing this, shouldn’t we bend over backwards to connect, be empathetic and sympathetic to all groups represented here or not? And I make it a point to pick up the verbal sword, for other maligned groups of people when ever possible. For instance, shouldn’t a males speak out against sexism, even if a woman does not? Shouldn’t straight people speak out against homophobia whether a gay person is “in the house” or not? Remember the phrase that goes some thing like “first they came for “this group” and I was silent and then they came for me.

And thanks for the 411 on Wiki, Word Detective.

Finally as far as being "thin skinned", this word bothers me, like "political correctness". I think its about the deeper self cultivation by self examination no mater how painful,( which is what the majority fear) so we can move from the dogmatic and the frivolous where the majority hang out, to the falliblistic and the serious, home of the few. In other words being able to give up our bullshit and examine where it came from to distance ourself from the conformity, complacently and cowardness that comes so easy.

And, last and least,hey C'mon, speaking of cowardness, this quote is for you and you’re hate with out substance
“Hatred is nothing but a coward’s revenge against those that intimidate you"

George Bernard Shaw

printdude / September 20, 2006 11:08 PM

I think we will have a long interlude of warmth after Halloween, shrouding Thanksgiving in extra bounty for our tables, followed by a wickedly harsh and dry winter setting record cold temperatures, providing fodder for the "climate crisis" naysayers.

C'mon / September 20, 2006 11:34 PM

spook-You don't intimidate me, you just annoy me and I don't hate you I just find you unbearably tiresome.

There was a brief period where you seemed to be something other than a common internet troll, but you have consistently demonstrated that you don't really care about anything outside of your own ego, you just enjoy being annoying because it feeds this grandiose self deluded notion you have about yourself (the biggest delusion being that you have any substance) and that is what makes you just a troll.

And no amount of self aggrandizing bullshit or cute quotes can change that fact. You're not a hero or a voice in the wilderness, you're just a pompous prick in love with himself and who can't accept the fact that he's just as much part of the problem as those he derides and insults.

You might parrot political dogma instead of posting naked pictures or racist cartoons, but essentially you're no different than the 14 year olds on Craigslist, because ultimately you have the same motivations and emotional makeup.

That is all I have to say. I know it will do no good to point these things out to you, because anything anyone says to you is filtered through your egomania, but it will make you easier to bear in the future having said them. Buh Bye.

Andrew / September 21, 2006 12:06 AM

(Not to derail the derail, but why is it so many people initialize Gapers Block "GP," when the obvious initials are GB? It baffles me.)

Andy, Marilyn didn't misquote Word Detective, she merely chose the answer which suited her argument. In 1996, the Word Detective wrote the entry she quoted (scroll to the entry "They can have Manhattan back anytime they want it"), then in 1998 he wrote your longer description of the etymology (scroll down to "Fox Paws.")

There are multiple competing etymological explanations, and we could go round and round on this for days. Even the Random House Word Maven lists the many possible roots and then leaves it to the reader to decide. However, I did find one cited by an actual Native American -- an Ogala Lakota -- who says that the weather event is a time during which Native Americans traditionally gave thanks for a successful harvest. The writer embraced the term.

In fact, I found nothing on Google indicating that Native Americans find the term offensive (as opposed to "Injun," which is considered derogatory and was the reason McCutcheon's story was finally axed in '92 -- recently enough that I'm pretty sure all GB readers were alive for it, Marilyn), and in fact found plenty of examples of Native Americans using "Indian Summer" in the same way it has been here. So whether the term was originally coined as an insult or a tribute, there is no aggieved party, and the people calling for and end to the term are championing political correctness for its own sake -- which is a step toward a slippery slope indeed.

Gwen / September 21, 2006 7:11 AM

Just because the term 'Indian Summer' doesn't cross your thershold of racial intolerance, that does not mean it doesn't cross others. As a society, I think we should be a little more sensitive to those around us where it does.

How many times do people in here freak when the Wrigleyville crowd is refered to as 'urban hipsters'
Same exact thing.

Ban the term 'Indian Summer'. It is offensive.

Brian / September 21, 2006 7:58 AM

As long as we don't have to ban the term ‘urban hipster.’ I’m of the mind that we should call it what it is. Because if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... it's certainly not a cat.

s / September 21, 2006 8:48 AM

As an urban hipster, I find that offensive!

kidding. about the offensive part, anyway.

i think this discussion has been really illuminating. i always assumed the term was offensive, but that's because i only knew it from that mccutcheon "injun summer" piece of crap.

gwen: just because *someone* is offended by something, doesn't mean it is racist. lots of people have too-thin skins (i'm looking at you here). the term apparently has no clear racist etymology, and may be simply descriptive of the time native peoples harvested their crops. how is that offensive? there's no other useful term for that particular weather phenomenon. that wouldn't be a good enough reason if the term *was* offensive to American Indians, but apparently it's *not.* so why worry about it?

natalie / September 21, 2006 8:57 AM

It's freakin' freezing out.. is this what chicagoans call an "indian summer" (we talking jammu kashmir or what?)
-from some uber weather sensitive oregonian

Marilyn / September 21, 2006 9:07 AM

My selective quoting seems to get Andrew's panties in a bunch. My purpose was only to show that there was a possibly derogatory connection and that there was indeed a controversy over the term. If some Native Americans choose to embrace it, that's cool with me. Don't call me the PC police and don't keep trying to cast me in a bad light, like you did with the Elder Care question. I find profanity very offensive, but I've never told anyone to cut it out here.

fluffy / September 21, 2006 9:32 AM

"pick up the verbal sword?" You sound more like you drop your IQ spork!

“Hatred is nothing but a coward’s revenge against those that intimidate you"

Is that why you wrote this on the other day's fuel?

"Fluffett are you most comfortable in big pink fluffy house shoes based on some cartoon character and still have you're collection of stuffed animals from days gone by? I don't know why I get that picture when ever you write."

By the way, I have some Native American ancestry in my family and couldn't care less what/how people prefer to express the climate change. I don't think it's being used in a derrogatory way.

Let's get off our high horses....(get it? heh)

mike / September 21, 2006 10:25 AM

Can the next Fuel be about (previously suggested) first concert ... or where you had your first kiss or something? Jeez. I'm not knocking this question ... just all the usual suspects with sticks up their butts.

Spook / September 21, 2006 10:31 AM

Andrew, don't you think it's dangerous to solely base your analysis on internet research( no disrespect to it cause use it all the time), but, while not taking into account the deep ingrained horrid historical legacy of our continued treatment of said population?

Don't you think we OWE them at least that, not to look at any term with Indian attached in a isolated vacuum separate from history? Do we need to do a huge internet search for the term "Indian giver" before it would raise alarms as well?
And S, if I said their was not a hipster bone in my body I'd be lying, but don't you think that the term "political correctness" and "thin skinned" has become synonymous with Socratic questioning? Trying to dig deeper intellectually, don't you think this is much needed during these times?
On a practical note, I'd like to think that even those that write on the other side of this issue are learning as well as we on this side. But if it wasn't for us "thin skin" politically correct GB er's, this blog would be merely about the weather
Fluffy, run along and play now

argh! / September 21, 2006 10:41 AM

Spook, Gwen, Marilyn -
Its not up to YOU to decide for the poor oppressed Native Americans what is offensive, since the little things are too stupid to know they should be objecting to the term "Indian Summer." (sarcasm intended)

That attitude IS offensive.

Native Americans have survived systematic genocide for hundreds of years, I think they can handle this battle without the help of some self-righteous liberals ranting at a bunch hip urban intellectuals on the internet.

Baldeesh / September 21, 2006 10:44 AM

Thanks argh!

Well put.

Ramsin / September 21, 2006 10:56 AM

Seriously. What a bunch of jokers.

Andrew / September 21, 2006 10:57 AM

Well, I based my research on what I could find on the Internet because that's where the conversation is taking place, and because I'm not about to start calling Native Americans at midnight to ask them what they think of "Indian Summer." Aside from that, Internet research seems to be enough for you when it serves your purposes, so why isn't it good enough for mine?

Marilyn, I called you out on the selective quoting because you chose an indirect reference over one that directly addressed the term. That's not exactly forthright argumentation. My panties get bunched when anyone does that, no matter if I disagree with them or not.

As for the Elder Care thread, if I "cast you in a bad light," it was only because I said that the wording of the question was yours, which was true. You cast yourself in a bad light by phrasing the question in an insensitive manner and expecting me to sanitize it for you.

Spook, a sweep of the Internet would quickly turn up thousands of results indicating that "Indian giver" is a derogatory term. My Internet sweep on "Indian Summer" turned up a few results indicating it might be derogatory, and none that said it patently is -- and tellingly, none of them were from Native Americans.

However, since that's not good enough, I've scheduled a phone interview with Mary Anne Armstrong, top official with the American Indian Center of Chicago, for this afternoon to find out what the Native American stance is. I'll report her response here.

Andrew / September 21, 2006 10:59 AM

PS: "Urban hipster" is an offensive term? Really? I had no idea.

NSH / September 21, 2006 11:22 AM

Andrew can you check to see if Indiana is also offensive?

HAHAHAHA! / September 21, 2006 11:25 AM


Spook / September 21, 2006 11:42 AM


I didn't say internet research wasn't good enough, which is why I said I use it all the time. What I did say is its problematic to use solely by itself in this case with out
regard and along side of the long tragic history of the people in question.

But I'm impressed, can't wait to hear back on the interview.

But keep this up and you are going to be called "politically correct" and "thin skinned" too, as opposed to just trying to be a good citizen by being
empathetic, seeking the truth in the name of greater understanding.

Allan / September 21, 2006 11:54 AM

I think we are all missing the point ( especially spook) what is important is to look deep down into ourselves and find something that make us feel good about tomorrow. Do we want to live in the past or in the future. I for one choose the future. Lets tell the past to get a room. We have seen enough! If you call a rose a worm it is still smells nice so why can't we all just take a collective whiff while we sip on Indian Summer brand apple juice now on sale 10 for a $1 at participating Jewel-Osco stores.

I like Spook / September 21, 2006 11:54 AM

I like the logic 'who gets to decide what is offensive'. Sure, just tell the minorities not to get their panties in a bunch because someone calls them a name. After all, it doesn't offend *me*, and I count. 'Those people need to have thicker skin' is a nice argument. The NCAA (big $$$) is forcing college teams to be more sensitive. They are addressing the problem in a constructive manner. It is changing attitudes over time that will break down these negative stereotypes.

People like NSH joke around and make light of the situation, doing further harm and compounding the problem. Just because you may have won life's lottery, NSH doesn't mean everyone has.

blah / September 21, 2006 12:01 PM

the above courtesy of Spook's mom

NSH / September 21, 2006 12:03 PM

umm.. GOOO Irish?

murphy / September 21, 2006 1:22 PM

I heretofore shall refrain, so as not to insult any culture or group of people, from using the following phrases:

English muffins
Canadian bacon
Irish coffee
Brazilian wax
Mexican jumping bean
Canadian bacon
French fries
Swedish fish
easy-peasy Japanesey
Chinese fingertrap
Mongolian barbecue
Siberian gulag
Chilean sea bass
cheese curd (can still write, but not speak it, people might get confused!)
Italian ice
Philly cheese steak
going Dutch
slaving away at _____
Muay Thai

According to research I did on the internerd, I found that each of these phrases could be interpreted to be derogatory. I urge all of you to make the same pledge. Respect.

J. Seinfeld / September 21, 2006 1:44 PM

What's the deal with the Ottoman Empire?

A whole Empire based on puttin' your feet up?

What's the deal?

J. Seinfeld / September 21, 2006 1:44 PM

What's the deal with the Ottoman Empire?

A whole Empire based on puttin' your feet up?

What's the deal?

Marilyn / September 21, 2006 2:17 PM

Andrew - I guess I misunderstood who writes questions for Fuel. I though the people who post exercise a bit of judgment. I'm to blame because you don't see any responsibility to act as an editor. If I ran things the way you do at my publication, I'd be out the door. Good thing no one pays you.

MT / September 28, 2006 3:01 PM

It is amazing that people like Gwen and Marylin exist in real life.

Take every negative stereotype about a conceited, pompous, in you face liberal, wrap them up in a nasty little ball and you might approximate the presumption and attitude of these individuals.

The point to be emphasized here is that a bunch of priviledged white intellectuals hanging out on a message board should not be the one deciding what is offfensive. The only people who have earned the priviledge to be offended are the native americans and their fore fathers. And let me tell you, they need the help of Gwen and Marylin like they need a fuckin' bullet in their foreheads.

Finally, the award for the most fucked up idea presented in this thread goes to...Gwen. Ban the use of language, eh? Great idea! Wanna come to my next book burning?

Get off your PC, thin-skinned, high horses. You aren't that important. Really.

Flaxxon / September 30, 2006 10:42 PM

I have a crazy idea. Let’s all just sit really still. Ok good we’ve done that. Now, no one speak there mind or voice any opinion that might be even the least offensive to even one person. Better yet let’s not even try to communicate. OK good you’ve got that down. Now let’s all lie down and wait for death.

Good (insert whatever god or gods you believe in here); I would hate to offend someone.

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