@netches-and-nirnroots
I Fell In Love With The Fire Long Ago

Hello, I'm The Fake Zahra (You can call me Netch), and this blog is once again officially emo. I'm nineteen, nonbinary, and hella gay. (they/them) I reblog basically everything that catches my eye, so please don't be afraid to ask me to tag! Go check out my new art blog! ¤ Mobile header by @mazurga ¤ Profile pic by @fairy-normal

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2020-08-06 03:44:42
    ayellowbirds

    the problem with all of these, “X creature is an antisemitic stereotype” is…

    well, if they are, it’s a thoroughly recent invention

    because, yanno

    Christians didn’t need to come up with coded representations of the worst things they believed of Jews

    they just presented it outright

    we didn’t have “goblins hoard gold and control the banks”, we had “Jews hoard gold and control the banks and steal the Host and drink the blood of Christian babies and dig up our dead”

    With the exception of impenetrable allegorical works that were just allllll about symbolism, from top to bottom… Notsrim didnt need to invent some kind of fantastic monster to represent Jews 

    because to them, we’re already monsters

    this isn’t to say you can’t talk about stuff in the context of specific recent creators

    JKR’s goblins are grotesque little antisemitic caricatures, just as many editions of D&D made goblins into anti-Asian stereotypes

    remember that there’s no One True Goblin Form. There’s no codified rule about dwarves being greedy treasure-hoarding foreigners, in spite of Tolkien. There’s no rule about how long or how pointy an elve’s ears are.

    this stuff is all centuries if not millennia old. It’s gone through countless variations in how it has been told. Sometimes, to some people, “goblin”, “elf”, and “dwarf” were all names for the same thing. Sometimes one or the other was extremely specific. Sometimes they were each broad categories, more akin to something like the Japanese “youkai” or “bakemono”.

    sometimes, people have sat down and decided to take these ideas and use them to conceal their hatred, to signal others who believe as they do or to try to make their bigotry seem less bigoted by making it about something nonhuman

    but that’s recent

    because back when people were worried about elves swapping a changeling for their baby, or an ogre in the forest

    they were also convinced that “Jew” was itself a category of inhuman creature.

    ayellowbirds

    reblogging this again because i checked tumblr again after being behind the wheel for about three and a half hours last night and found another post claiming that goblins originated as antisemitic, which is… no. It’s just no.

    and an addendum: Jewish tradition has several creatures of our own who can be identified as a goblins, including the lantukhs and kapelyushnikles of Yiddish folklore.

    autisticexpression

    I’ve been thinking this for a long time bit it’s nice to see actual Jewish people talking about it. Basically all it took was one completely unsourced post claiming goblincore was inherantly antisemitic and hundreds of people uncritically reblogged as is the nature of this site.

    I actually made a list a while back of different goblins in folklore with this issue in mind but I didn’t realize Jewish folklore also had goblins!

    ayellowbirds

    bearing in mind that a lot of my readings on this were texts that are not digitized (or not readily accessible online), and i don’t have copies of my own, but here’s some info on those:

    lantukh(er) or lantekh: most likely derived from mistransliterations of the French lutin into Hebrew script (source; i’ve actually read this and i can see about digging up the relevant passages for this and the rest if anyone really needs access), a lantukh is a vaguely described creature most often seen hiding in shadows and darkness. The common attributes include a love of mischief ranging from harmless to violent depending on whether the lantukh has been slighted; Isaac Bashevis Singer (if i am remembering my sources correctly) gave the translation as “brownie” in reference to said fey’s reputation for switching from benevolent to malicious depending on its treatment, and some sources suggest lantukher often take up residences in human homes. Others put them solely in lonely places; a particularly unusual characteristic is their association with impossibly long tongues, either as an illusion they create or a genuine physical attribute, allowing them to reach across great distances (per stories repeated in first source). Whether they are smaller than humans is often implied or left ambiguous, but often not outright stated.

    kapelyushnikle(ch/kh): translatable as “hat-wearers” or “hatters”, kapelyushniklech are very small people who… wear hats. Presumably nice, visually distinctive hats. They are attributed a mischievous character linked to human-owned cows and horses, stealing milk from the former (source) and harassing the latter (source). They seem to appear in groups of two or more, unlike the usually solitary lantukh, and stories seem to focus on their capture and bargaining for their freedom.

    ayellowbirds

    there’s been a bunch of replies to this that have twisted what i’m saying to act like every instance of people pointing out antisemitism in goblin designs is baseless. That’s bullshit. Goblins in and of themselves are not antisemitic, but there are plenty of instances of Christian artists and authors over the past century who used them as a vehicle for antisemitic caricatures, whether consciously or just as a general trend of associating us with evil. There are plenty of artists and authors who do the same with orcs and Black or Asian people.

    This post is not and never was about disputing a specific example of goblins in fiction. It’s a rejection of the claims that the origin of goblins is in antisemitism. Jews have used goblins and goblin-like creatures in our folklore, plenty. We’ve used vampires too, and theres a lot of links between antisemitism and vampires in the older folklore. I know plenty of Jews with hyena fursonas, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take into account the blood libels in North Africa that claim we turn into hyenas and dig up Christian graves to eat the corpses.

    Some people, including a certain very famous TERF author, do make goblins antisemitic. I’m not denying that. The people who do so are usually going to be noticeably bigoted in other ways, treating everyone other than cisgender neurotypical heterosexual western European white Christians as if we were strange fantasy creatures in the first place.

    Pay close attention to who is writing the stories and drawing the artwork. There are some Jews who perpetuate Jewish stereotypes, and there are some Goyim who do it without realizing, because both have internalized so much awful shit. Look at what characteristics are being presented as negative or bundled together with them. Be critical and analyze things.

    And just as much as you shouldn’t assume all goblins are antisemitic, please stop giving people shit for pointing out examples that are.

    (also please stop reblogging the version of this post where someone put badly translated German. Aside from the errors, I don’t want to keep seeing those photos every time I check a new comment on this post)

    prokopetz

    While it’s generally true that real siblings don’t routinely call each other “bro” or “sis”, as certain stripes of popular media would have us believe, there are occasions when siblings may refer to each other as “brother” or “sister” in full. Those occasions are when you want to fuck with people, and there’s a specific Voice you use when you do it. Anyone who has That Kind of sibling relationship can back me up here.

    prokopetz

    For those wondering what the Voice in question is, there are actually several recognised variants, including (but not limited to):

  • The eerie singsong “hello, brother/sister~” when you want people to think you’re in some sort of cult
  • The bombastic, Viking warrior style “well met, brother/sister!” when you want to give notice that you’re about to do something stupid
  • The conspicuously formal “yes, dearest brother/sister?” when you want folks to think you’re Up To Something™ (but may or may not be planning anything in particular)
  • The cold, mechanical “greetings, brother/sister” when you’re acting like robots because of a specific in-joke which you will never explain
  • little-oxford-st

    • The super sarcastic “Yes brother/sister,” which rivals yes mum,” in it’s bitterness and mockery

    headspace-hotel

    Me when I want my brother to do a favor for me that I can easily do myself: “Dear brother? Best brother in the world? Dearest brother?”