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 Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.

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Puffer Mark

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PostSubject: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:38 am

Greetings, all.
At the risk (or hope Twisted Evil ) of sparking heated discussion; as a South African, I was recently innocently toying with the idea of changing my avatar to a caricature of the first (South African) Boer Republic President, Oom (uncle) Paul Kruger, for whom the pipe shape was named.

In my rummaging on the internet, I discovered quite a raging debate concerning whether the shape name should be shunned in favour of the term, ‘Hungarian’.

You can read some of the debate here, one initiated by no lesser piping personage that the great Fred Hanna:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nASntfma600
http://alt.smokers.pipes.narkive.com/4MsZN22k/stop-the-use-of-the-term-oom-paul
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.smokers.pipes/iePS6ZWgjrY%5B51-75-false%5D

The debate can probably be encapsulated by the following quote from this site:
https://btheinternationalpetersonpipeclub.runboard.com/t1530

“Many prefer the term Hungarian over Oom Paul, since the pipe's history is more appealing than the history of the man, with it's connotations of racism and association with apartheid.”

Now I am not an apartheid apologist, nor do I condone racism in any way, but whoa, there.

I suppose one view is that it is to be expected, as a kind of knee-jerk reaction, that South Africa should automatically be associated with the apartheid policy and racism, and that as South Africans we should just suck it up. Dealing with the legacy of apartheid is something with which South Africans of all colours must grapple on a daily basis, as we try to steer our country into a new future.

As white South Africans and beneficiaries of apartheid, there is for us too a huge task at hand. As the subjects (and we were, as opposed to victims) of apartheid we were the target of a process of political and ideological indoctrination, the like of which I do not believe has been seen since the collapse of Nazi Germany. I do not offer this as any excuse, but one wonders how many hands would have shot up in Germany in 1946, if a call was made to admit to previously being a supporter of the National Socialist Party. Similarly, we have to come to terms with our past, and consciously unlearn that indoctrination. Believe me, it ain’t easy. But we were fortunate beyond belief to be blessed with a post apartheid leader of the greatness and stature of Nelson Mandela, or Madiba as he is affectionately known by the vast majority of my countrymen and women of all creeds.

At the same time, and not wanting to cloak any form of racism in an air of acceptability, there are certain truths, some of which are alluded to in the replies to the aforementioned posts/video, which remain relevant to the debate.

Most importantly in my opinion is that Kruger (pronounced Kreer in his mother tongue) has to be seen in the context of his time. He was a simple man who believed the bible to be factually correct, to the extent of believing the earth to be flat! He was engaged in a fierce battle to keep his people and their republic free of the yolk of British imperialism. And boy, outnumbered as they were, them Boers did dish out some spectacular hidings. So must we also be cognizant of the fact that any perceptions gained of him at the time, must be seen through the lens of British Imperialist propaganda. (Sorry British brothers, but it’s true).

In any event, to associate him with the reprehensible aparthied policy, formulated by the National Party Government who came to power in 1948, and which entrenched racist ideologies in national and regional legislation, is simply factually incorrect.

Was he racist? Almost certainly, by the modern definition of the word. But is it fair to judge him out of hand while viewing him with the benefit of more than 100 years of enlightened moral hindsight? At the huge risk of advocating that two wrongs make a right, and offending my brethren on both sides of the pond and down under (neither of which is intended, I assure you), let me pose the following questions:

In the interests of balance, must we not compare him to others of his era? Must we not ask ourselves if he was more or less racist, better or worse, than his adversary, the British, who’s Raj dominated India at that time and for many years to come? Or the Australian colonists’ in their treatment of the aboriginal population? Or the US government in their treatment of Native Americans? Or his direct adversary on home soil, Lord Kitchener, who, as part of his ‘scorched earth’ policy, invented the concentration camps, in which Boer women and children died in their tens of thousands? Or indeed, his contemporary Cecil John Rhodes, who gave his name to another racist state, Rhodesia? I don’t think his philanthropy stretched to any of the African population (quite the contrary), yet we still have Rhodes scholars.

I shall say nothing of a certain Mr. G Washington, not knowing enough, except that there appears to be some smoke, and where there smoke. . . Yet I believe there are still numerous American icons which bear his name. We don’t see a scramble to rename these, so why now stampede toward the eradication of Oom Paul?

I my view, a country’s history, right and wrong, warts and all, cannot be wiped away. Nor do I think it wise to do so. Is that not why we strive to remember the holocaust, painful as it may be to do so? We must remember, so as to avoid repetition. Do the names not give us the opportunity to open debate with our children, and caution them on the dangers of prejudice and discrimination?

To the Oom Paul detractors: I’m sorry, I don’t get it. Let me just say, with reference to current day South Africa; we are trying our damndest to get over ourselves. Why not give us a hand by trying to do the same?

Anyway for me, I have an Oom Paul. Or at least I did, until recently. Funny thing is, the pipe just didn’t do it for me. You know how it is. Nothing wrong with it, so I gave it to a young aspirant pipe smoker. He is a very bright, dynamic, likeable chap who works in the office of a colleague, and who is increasingly becoming a very dear friend, despite our age gap. His name is Sivu. And yes, Sivu is an African name. He is from the same Xhosa culture as our beloved Madiba, or as we like to say nowadays around these parts; a South African. By all accounts, he is delighted with the pipe, so all’s to the good.

I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide where, if anywhere, the irony lies in this last. I will tell you one thing, though. If I told Sivu I was going to give him a ‘Hungarian’, he wouldn’t know what the hell I was on about.

As usual, your comments welcome.

Mark.


Last edited by Puffer Mark on Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:27 am; edited 2 times in total
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Domer



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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:01 am

Thanks for a thoughtful "rant" Wink

The Romans performed mass genocide and practiced slavery but are thought of as a great civilization. Context matters.

I like to think the human race is constantly improving itself; slowly rounding off the rough edges.
ISIS is brutal, but it's trivial compared to the actions of the Japanese in China just 75 years ago.

(But I don't think I want an Oom Paul, looks like it weighs 5 pounds.)
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:30 am

Trivial? Wow.
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Domer



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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:44 am

In comparison to WW2, I'd say trivial. Or to the genocide in Rwanda.

If you want to read a stomach turning book, I'd suggest "The Rape of Nanking". Or look up the atrocities of Unit 731 in Manchuria.

But we need to have a positive attitude and look ahead and not back.
I think that's Mark's point.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:05 am

One could argue the scale in contrast is trivial but that would be the only way to argue it... And I imagine if you lived in the affected area you wouldn't make that utter-nonsensical argument.

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Domer



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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:51 pm

That escalated quickly.

puros_bran wrote:
 One could argue the scale in contrast is trivial...


Isn't that what I said? I was making a historical comparison.
Why does that make me unsympathetic to oppression?
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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:52 pm

As far as I'm concerned, if the Manufacturer calls it a Hungarian, then THAT'S what it is !! If they call it an Oom Paul, then THAT'S what it is ! It's sort of like the Dunhill Rhodesian vs Bent Bulldog, If it's a GBD w/ diamond shank then they called it a Bent Bulldog whereas Dunhill calls the same shape a Rhodesian. I figure they made their pipe and can call it as they see fit. As for the world racial thing, EVERYONE'S a racist! We live in a RACIALLY diverse WORLD so we ALL are racists!! Works for me !! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:59 pm

Just imagine if Oom Paul himself were Hungarian!? What a quandary!

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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:42 pm

MisterE wrote:
Just imagine if Oom Paul himself were Hungarian!? What a quandary!

Now THAT is TACKY !! I LIKE IT!! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:47 pm

Domer wrote:
That escalated quickly.

puros_bran wrote:
 One could argue the scale in contrast is trivial...


Isn't that what I said? I was making a historical comparison.
Why does that make me unsympathetic to oppression?

You neglected the utterly nonsensical part. If you ever have the misfortune to to attempt to live in a war environment or under a true tyranny you wouldn't call it trivial. And I didn't say you unsympathetic, I had hoped, and still do, that you just haven't thought out the statement.
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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:25 pm

MisterE wrote:
Just imagine if Oom Paul himself were Hungarian!? What a quandary!

I'm of Hungarian descent (my mother), don't drag us into this mess!
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:01 pm

Hanna is a bit of an ass, sensitive to the moral winds that blow. He felt the necessity of striking a pose for some reason at this point in his idiosyncratic book, which I almost hurled against the wall when encountering the oom-paul commentary. I refrained, due to the book's being encased in a friggin' Kindle. The pipe is and always will be a friggin' oom-paul, unless you're British, then it's a friggin' Hungarian, which is understandable from their point of view.

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Hawker

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:36 am

All I know is that if I crested a hill back in the days of the Boer War and seen a silouete of man atop his trusty stead with that famous Oom Paul shape hanging from his jaw I'd probably shart my pants while thinking we might of just bit off a bit more than we can chew.

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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:54 pm

No love for Jan Smuts and Christiaan de Wet?


If we are going to be serious about the Op. Kruger was a man attempting to defend his homeland from a 'foreign invasion'. Was he a bad man? You better believe it.
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Puffer Mark

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:52 am

puros_bran wrote:
No love for Jan Smuts and Christiaan de Wet?  

You wanna name pipes after them?? lol!
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:29 am

I see no viable reason not to..   At the very least do a combo name for a shape.. de Wet Smuts.  cheers

I was actually refering to Hawker's post..  Those two men...   Jan Smuts, just wow.. He literally is/was a legendary man.. Here's a bit of trivia for you:  In the event Churchill suffered death the plan was that the South Afrikan Jan Smuts was to be appointed Prime Minister of The United Kingdom..      
 And de Wet is in a Kipling poem.    

As far as great warriors go South Afrika has had more than her share in those two men alone.
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Puffer Mark

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:13 am

Yeah, with you, puros. Very interesting. never knew that about Smuts. I will say, I don't think SA would have ended up in quite the mess we did If we had stuck with him and his United Party post war.

On pipes:

For de Wet, I recommend something with a shank/stem resembling a Mauser .303, circa 1899. And for Smuts a bowl shaped like an upturned dessert war tin hat circa 1942. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:52 pm

I noticed George Washington was named amongst the famous racists. Is the MM named for the man or the state? Regardless of the state being named for the man.
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Oxman

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:27 am

I am of English descent.

Every leader in history is seen very differently by his followers or his enemies.

The name reflects the persons preference for a particular shape not their politics or actions.

Its an Oom Paul pipe, NOT a Hungarian as far as I am concerned.


I still want one!
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Puffer Mark

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:57 am

Jevverrett wrote:
Is the MM named for the man or the state? Regardless of the state being named for the man.
No Sh#@! You guys have state named after a guy called Meerschaum?? Cool!! lol!
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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:24 pm

Oxman wrote:
I am of English descent.

Every leader in history is seen very differently by his followers or his enemies.

The name reflects the persons preference for a particular shape not their politics or actions.

Its an Oom Paul pipe, NOT a Hungarian as far as I am concerned.


I still want one!

You may be "... of English descent..." but many of your English pipe firms, Dunhill and BBB are two for example, called this shape a Hungarian!! mmm Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:44 pm

Puffer Mark wrote:
Jevverrett wrote:
Is the MM named for the man or the state? Regardless of the state being named for the man.
No Sh#@! You guys have state named after a guy called Meerschaum?? Cool!! lol!

Oh the great state of meerschaum! Sorry- I know Washington state is named for G Washington. I think the pipe may be named for him as well. There's also the patriot and country gentlemen which sort of fit as a theme I believe.
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:36 pm

I just ordered my first Oom Paul. (another Tinsky)
http://webshop.amsmoke.com/2015-IPSD-PIPE-Oom-Paul.html
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:17 am

Hell of a nice Hungarian Hermit. Very Happy Very Happy Razz

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Puffer Mark

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PostSubject: Re: Oom Paul vs Hungarian: Bit of a rant.   Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:56 am

Lovely pipe! Certainly ticks all the boxes to conform to the shape name, which is, of course. . . Twisted Evil
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