JAMES A. LANDAU Netscape. Just the Net You Need. JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Sat Mar 8 23:00:08 UTC 2008

On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 17:08:32 Zulu minus 5  Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM wrote:

How about "samnesia," the supposed ability of a black man to forget
that he's black, when in the company of white men? Of course, I've
never come across the word, but I have, amazingly, come across the
concept. In an otherwise-forgotten novel written by some random white
dude, a black sidekick, busily kicking sides with several white guys,
is reminded that he's black only when he sees the group reflected in a
store window.

Unreal. And I ain't going for it.

Upon reading the above, I was immediately reminded of an occasion when I was standing on the front porch of a house in an all-black section of Southwest DC, holding a casual conversation with two black men, and feeling extremely self-conscious about it , so I guess I agree with Wilson Gary that the “random white dude” of a writer was, um, quite random.


"Samnesia" is a portmanteau of "Sambo" and "amnesia" and is ironic because Little Black Sambo was a Caucasian.


My own early (and hopeless) nomination for WOTY is “smoke-free room”, meaning the politically correct current version of the legendary smoke-filled rooms of political lore.

This appeared in Dick Polman “That Sinking Feeling” Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday, February 17, 2008, page C1 with jump to C3.  Referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton: “So her only option is to defeat Obama in the smoke-free rooms and risk plunging the Democratic Party into civil war.”

However, later in the same article, Polman wrote, referring to superdelegates: “in the words of former Democratic strategist Susan Estrich, they decided to empower the ‘white guys with cigar.’”


My first thought was that not even the Ayatollahs can censor the current President of Iran.

My second thought was that the headline writer had written “censor” for “censure”.

The actual text was “led to western nations on Tuesday dropping a draft resolution urging Iran to cooperate fully with the UN nuclear watchdog” which is neither censure nor censor.


Two citations I heard today, both of which I am skeptical of:

“It is easier to ask forgiveness than seek permission” attributed to the Jesuits

“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; those who can’t teach, become gym teachers; those who can’t teach gym become administrators” attributed to Woody Allen.

           James A. Landau
           test engineer
           Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
           8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
           West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA

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