37 thoughts on “May 30, 2017

  1. I lived in California for over twenty years and was acquainted with a lot of people like Crystal. A friend of mine ran one of those ubiquitous ‘crystal shops’, which sold books and all manner of airy-fairy paraphernalia like dream catchers and cast figurines of spectral wolves with glowing eyes. Another (not a friend) ran a Wiccan ‘feed store’ (occult books and days-old chicks!) and slept around with a lot of too-young, naive women (different kind of chicks). So yes, there is a dark side to the alternative-religion world, but the latter are pretty easy to spot.

    Folks like Crystal may make good comic material but they’re essentially harmless, in a good way. They typically believe in some form of karma, i.e., that what goes around comes around, you should treat people right, the Golden Rule, and therefore one might consider them almost ideal customer service focused employees.

    The world could frankly use a lot more Crystals.

    • I’m wondering that too. And Gypsy is a racial slur too. It’s basically the N-word for the Romani people.

      • No it isn’t….those of us from Irish gypsy stock are happy to be called that-it’s our traditional name and nowadays has a much better connotation than travellers does.

        • The Roma I know all prefer to be called Roma. I think Gypsy is a problematic word to use in general because it was meant as an insult (ever got gypped?) and many Roma do feel insulted by it. I’m sure as heck not using it unless someone, like you, explicitly tells me that this is their preferred form of address and I do object to it’s use as a catch-all term because I actually know people who would be hurt by being called it or other language’s equivalent of gypsy.

          • Truly,
            “Gypped” comes from “Gypsy” not “Gypsy” from “gypped”.
            “Gypsy” is not necessarily a slur. It’s what non-Romani decided to call Romani people. Lots of people get stuck with identifying names other people decided to call them. Like American Indians. I’m told that the original term given the indigenous peoples of the New World was “en dios” or “in God”. Except it was more likely because Columbus had what is now the West Indies confused with India. Which is the name Europeans gave to that area and not what the people living there called it.
            And from there we can go on to “paddy wagon” and “paddy whack”

      • Here we go with the over-sensitive PC police again. Gypsy is NOT a racial slur. A good reason is because gypsies are not a race, and even if they were, what does it matter to you unless you yourself are a gypsy? If they want to get offended let them step forth, the last thing this world needs is more (usually upper class white) people getting in an uproar “on behalf” of people who don’t even care about the issue themselves.

        • Well, I guess you could call it an ethnic slur if that is your preference. My aunt works for a Roma cultural center and many of her coworkers are Roma and they do feel that the term gypsy is an insult and prefer to be called Roma.

          Sure, it depends on the individual, I’m sure many don’t care, but why use a term that many do feel insulted by, that clearly originated as an insult (ever got gypped?) and is based on disinterested assumption (Europeans thought the Roma looked like they came from Egypt and therefore called them Gypsy) when there is a perfectly good term that many prefer because it’s the actual name of their ethnicity. If that is ‘overly PC’ then I guess I’m fine with being overly PC.

          • Jeremy Hardy, British comic and singing sensation,* has an adopted daughter who’s Roma. On one of his shows “Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation” he compares someone saying “I’m such a gypsy” to someone eating a bagel and saying “I’m such a Jew.” No, Jew isn’t offensive, but in that context it does grate a bit. Context can mean a lot.

            *Google “Jeremy Hardy sings.” You’ll never forget it.

          • quinetoe,
            Irish are most definitely not WASP.
            The Irish are not (W)hite (or at least weren’t considered so until maybe WW II) are not (A)nglo-Saxon (they are Celtic) and are mostly not
            (P)rotestant

        • “The English term gipsy or gypsy is a common word used to indicate Romani people, Tinkers and Travellers, and use of the word gipsy in modern-day English is so pervasive that some Romani organizations use it in their own organizational names. HOWEVER, according to many Romani people and academics who study them, the word has been tainted by its use as a racial slur and a pejorative connoting illegality and irregularity,and some modern dictionaries either recommend avoiding use of the word gypsy entirely or give it a negative or warning label.”

          Yeah how dare those Romani people complain about the language used to dehumanize and ostracize them

  2. Nothing wrong with it. If you’re Romani,some prefer to be called that,but there’s nothing harmful in it-it’s part of our heritage especially for those from Irish gypsy stock. Same as the Lapps-they call themselves Sami,but Lapp itself is not objectionable.

    • I’m thinking that maybe the difference between our understanding of the word is our location. It is possible that in continental Europe the term Gypsy and it’s equivalent in other languages is seen more as an insult because it was used by the Nazis during and before WWII and a lot of the Roma in Europe were systematically killed as ‘undesirables’.

      • Except the Nazis also called jews “jews” and russians “russians”, and stuck a lot of them in camps too.

        Sometimes the thing you call something doesn’t have a lot to do with your opinion of it.

        You can make anything sound like an insult if you scrunch your face and put the right sneer into your voice.

        • Maybe so, but the difference is that Jew and Russian both come from the actual historical names these people are calling themselves. Gypsy on the other hand is a name that Europeans gave the Roma and Sinti people because they couldn’t be bothered to ask what they were actually called. It’s literally short for ‘Egyptian’ because 16th century Europeans thought the Roma looked like they could come from there. In any case, it’s just a theory on why the term may have different connotations for Irish Gypsies and mainland European Roma.

  3. Could be interesting on her meeting Donnie and Lunker-Donnie thought Lunker was a mythical being,so what he’ll make of Crystal!
    Actually,Lunker,Donnie and Crystal could make a good team-kindred spirits together.

  4. I kind of get the impression in the last panel that Val is being a bit critical of Marla for hiring Crystal but she knows better than anyone that in Marla’s mind there really was no one else. And Val had turned down the position for her own reasons. I wonder how all this will play out with Brice at Delman’s and Crystal at Grumbels.

    • Nah, Val is just laughing at the situation. It is rather amusing that Crystal doesn’t have a “business” face that she uses when in a work environment that isn’t occult in any way. She is who she is all the time, and while I admire that, it could hinder her when it comes to employment. Obviously it didn’t this time, but if Marla had any other viable candidates, Crystal would have been passed over for them. It is precisely because Marla had no other options that Crystal was hired.

    • I do as well, she is clearly an outside the box thinker. So far she seems well grounded enough to still work in a normal setting.

    • I think it refers to the idea of having a gypsy spirit. You know, the unconventional, free spirit that can’t be tied down with a touch of mysticism and magic thrown in, which is often seen in entertainment. I have seen it more often described as hippie or new age but I guess gypsy is used as well.

      • This is really the issue with the term and why so many Romani activists I know (ranging from scholars in the US to the European Roma Rights Center in Budapest) object to it. The term, when applied to a non-Rom, is always based in the negative stereotypes of fortunetelling and nomadicism, while denying the reality of the culture and the lives they were forced into due to racial prejudice.
        That is the problem with the term, and why non-Roma should not use it unless a Rom/Sinto/Lom/Romanichal/etc. uses it first.

        • I’m sure that’s part of the problem. Thank you for your insight. When it comes to terms like this I personally believe that handling it like the N-word is a good approach. Accept when the ethnicity themselves uses the term because they have the right to deal with it however they want, but as an outsider to the group refrain from using it. I am honestly a bit baffled on why I’m getting so much negativity when I say that the term is offensive to many Roma.

    • Ditto, there were worries at first she might be to out there to last a day (I was one of the concerned TBH.) Now it is a question of if she can survive in the hostile environment of Grumbles.

      • So far, she strikes me as a Luna Lovegood type—the sort who’ll get tossed into a situation where they should be eaten alive, but astound everyone with how well they hold up.

  5. Crystal is a positive person, no doubt. I wonder if she is going to get the opportunity to meet and assist that “creepy guy” that visits the store sometimes. If he or Stuart can’t wipe out her positive energy, she’ll be just fine.

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