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  #941  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2018, 9:31 PM
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In other theatre news...

Just out today: The Oriental Theatre will undergo a name change, and will now be called the Nederlander.

I'm also reading that there will be a new marquee!

WTF, how can they get rid of something historic like that?

https://www.chicagotribune.com/enter...114-story.html
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  #942  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2018, 10:41 PM
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Will the new marquee be in the same style as the old? I wouldn't want something new and modern there, like a giant LED board. It would clash with the historic aesthetic of the theatre.
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  #943  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
Just out today: The Oriental Theatre will undergo a name change, and will now be called the Nederlander.

I'm also reading that there will be a new marquee!

WTF, how can they get rid of something historic like that?

https://www.chicagotribune.com/enter...114-story.html
I was just thinking about this yesterday as I walked past, dreading the day that PC would come knocking on the door of the Oriental Theatre. Didn't realize it would be so soon. Ugh. I can't even find any complaints about the name on the internet, which is astounding. The owners are apparently just being proactive.

The sign is a painstaking replica of the original sign from the 1920s, which was long-gone by the time theatre boosters brought the place back in the 1990s.
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  #944  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 12:17 AM
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Oriental Theater

One of the weirdest, most unnecessary things I've seen in a while. "Oriental" offensive? Yes, if you're talking about people. But it's a theater in the style of the East, known in antiquity and well up til maybe 80 years ago as the Orient. What the hell is offensive about that? "Oriental rug"? --- "How dare you sir, that is an Asia Minor rug goddammit!"

This whole thing is so stupid. Watch the city come back and tell them that their new sign can't be as big as the old one, like what happens when they rebuild a McDonalds...
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  #945  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 4:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
One of the weirdest, most unnecessary things I've seen in a while. "Oriental" offensive? Yes, if you're talking about people. But it's a theater in the style of the East, known in antiquity and well up til maybe 80 years ago as the Orient. What the hell is offensive about that? "Oriental rug"? --- "How dare you sir, that is an Asia Minor rug goddammit!"

This whole thing is so stupid. Watch the city come back and tell them that their new sign can't be as big as the old one, like what happens when they rebuild a McDonalds...
Can't they just anagram it? It looks like relation is an anagram of oriental.
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  #946  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 7:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
One of the weirdest, most unnecessary things I've seen in a while. "Oriental" offensive? Yes, if you're talking about people. But it's a theater in the style of the East, known in antiquity and well up til maybe 80 years ago as the Orient. What the hell is offensive about that? "Oriental rug"? --- "How dare you sir, that is an Asia Minor rug goddammit!"

This whole thing is so stupid. Watch the city come back and tell them that their new sign can't be as big as the old one, like what happens when they rebuild a McDonalds...
It’s not offensive because it’s not talking about a person. It just means “Eastern”. There’s still an Orient Express train, etc.

I wonder if they’ll rename Occidental College next? Because that’s the same fucking thing.
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  #947  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 2:32 PM
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Sounds like perfect fodder for the Fox News crowd.

Why can't it be as simple as honoring someone by renaming a theatre (an occurrence that happens quite often actually)?
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  #948  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 3:49 PM
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While I don't have a problem with the name change itself, my biggest concern is the loss of an historic marquee in the Loop.

That thing should be landmarked, actually. Those old school marquees are what differentiate use from shitbag Sunbelt snoozervilles like Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, etc etz zzzzzzzzzzzzzz I already fell asleep just thinking about those places.

Point is, we need to demand that they respect the historic features of this theatre's exterior appearance, including the marquee, even while changing the name.
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  #949  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 3:56 PM
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It’s not offensive because it’s not talking about a person. It just means “Eastern”. There’s still an Orient Express train, etc.

I wonder if they’ll rename Occidental College next? Because that’s the same fucking thing.

Always seems like folks who aren't the subject of an purportedly offensive term are the first to say that the term isn't offensive. Even acting with indignation that anyone could think the term could be viewed as offensive and arguing that, given how long that term has been used, it should be exempt from change as a result of our evolving understanding of how that term may be offensive.

"It’s not offensive because it’s not talking about a person."

Except it is. The theater's name is tied to its fanciful/fictional depictions of scenes from the Far East (or East Asia to use a more modern term). Scenes that would, whether they are visible or not, be inhabited by the people therefrom.

"I wonder if they’ll rename Occidental College next? Because that’s the same fucking thing."

You are, if memory serves, living in London which is virtually the epicenter of Orientalism and you think "Occidental" is somehow equivalent? Sure in an alternate history where Oriens and Occidens were only ever used as Latin geographic terms. However that is not nearly the case especially after two or three centuries of colonial efforts in Eastern Asia.
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  #950  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 4:13 PM
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...my biggest concern is the loss of an historic marquee in the Loop.
Not that it should matter because it is an exact replica, but wasn't the vertical blade marquee missing for like 40 years before the renovation? Here's an image from the 60's showing the later marquee that lasted until the 1980's:


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  #951  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 4:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
One of the weirdest, most unnecessary things I've seen in a while. "Oriental" offensive? Yes, if you're talking about people. But it's a theater in the style of the East, known in antiquity and well up til maybe 80 years ago as the Orient. What the hell is offensive about that? "Oriental rug"? --- "How dare you sir, that is an Asia Minor rug goddammit!"

This whole thing is so stupid. Watch the city come back and tell them that their new sign can't be as big as the old one, like what happens when they rebuild a McDonalds...
I agree. I mean, I wouldn't open a new theater with the name "Oriental" bc it's such a loaded term, so just being aware of the word's baggage would steer me away from it. That said, I've never heard of anyone complaining of the term when applied to inanimate objects. Did whoever made this decision even consult with the Asian American community to find out if it reads as offensive? It's such an iconic sign and I'd hate to see it removed for a totally unfounded reason. And, yes, this is the sort of red meat that really mobilizes the crazies to double down on their racism.
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  #952  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 4:50 PM
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Considering that University of Chicago has a highly regarded museum and research arm called the 'Oriental Institute', with no plans to change that...I dunno how to end this post...
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  #953  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 4:55 PM
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^Good point. Didn't even think about that.
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  #954  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 6:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JK47 View Post
Always seems like folks who aren't the subject of an purportedly offensive term are the first to say that the term isn't offensive. Even acting with indignation that anyone could think the term could be viewed as offensive and arguing that, given how long that term has been used, it should be exempt from change as a result of our evolving understanding of how that term may be offensive.

"It’s not offensive because it’s not talking about a person."

Except it is. The theater's name is tied to its fanciful/fictional depictions of scenes from the Far East (or East Asia to use a more modern term). Scenes that would, whether they are visible or not, be inhabited by the people therefrom.

"I wonder if they’ll rename Occidental College next? Because that’s the same fucking thing."

You are, if memory serves, living in London which is virtually the epicenter of Orientalism and you think "Occidental" is somehow equivalent? Sure in an alternate history where Oriens and Occidens were only ever used as Latin geographic terms. However that is not nearly the case especially after two or three centuries of colonial efforts in Eastern Asia.
You seem like just the kind of “everything is offensive” snowflake that is driving otherwise Democratic voters to people like Donald Trump.

This is a nonsense, and a waste of time and money.

What’s next, no German-themed beer halls with staff in lederhosen and dirndls because that’s cultural stereotyping? Ban Mario and Luigi games because of the Italian stereotype? Better not have any neon signs for Mexican restaurants with a cartoon guy in a poncho either.

The historical marquee is much more important than any of these stupid concerns over the use of the term “oriental”.
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  #955  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 6:25 PM
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You seem like just the kind of “everything is offensive” snowflake that is driving otherwise Democratic voters to people like Donald Trump.

This is a nonsense, and a waste of time and money.
Not to get political, but.....you are totally right.

Lets not feign outrage on behalf of ethnic groups we don't belong to, people. Let us speak for ourselves. And I don't see massive groups of East Asians out there complaining about the name of this theatre. NOBODY is offended--people are busy with their lives and have just a tad bit thicker skin than that.
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  #956  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 6:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JK47 View Post
Always seems like folks who aren't the subject of an purportedly offensive term are the first to say that the term isn't offensive. Even acting with indignation that anyone could think the term could be viewed as offensive and arguing that, given how long that term has been used, it should be exempt from change as a result of our evolving understanding of how that term may be offensive.

"It’s not offensive because it’s not talking about a person."

Except it is. The theater's name is tied to its fanciful/fictional depictions of scenes from the Far East (or East Asia to use a more modern term). Scenes that would, whether they are visible or not, be inhabited by the people therefrom.

"I wonder if they’ll rename Occidental College next? Because that’s the same fucking thing."

You are, if memory serves, living in London which is virtually the epicenter of Orientalism and you think "Occidental" is somehow equivalent? Sure in an alternate history where Oriens and Occidens were only ever used as Latin geographic terms. However that is not nearly the case especially after two or three centuries of colonial efforts in Eastern Asia.
I'm pretty persuaded by these points. None of this seems like snowflakery to me. It seems like a thoughtful understanding of the issue and why the term might be offensive when applied to a theater. I find the point that 'theater' is inextricably linked to 'people' and depictions of humanity to be quite compelling. In this context, the term really communicates an infantilized/fetishized portraiture of Asian people, and conjures images not unlike a minstrel show. Whereas when applied to a museum, "oriental" seems limited to artifacts and tools.

I do think its wise to understand these things deeply and to start from the presumption that the term is indeed offensive. Otherwise, your run the risk of letting your position of white privilege blind you to history and the present. But I'd really like to hear from an Asian American advocacy group to get their opinion and go with that.
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  #957  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 6:58 PM
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As an “Oriental”, I’m aware that Orientalism was a movement in art, philosophy and history that had some problems. But it is not generally offensive like when it involves motifs from Asian art, though of course there are limits.

I mean, I absolutely love the old Shriners temple (now a Bloomingdales), even though it’s what some would call “cultural appropriation”— and I was actually really disturbed by a recent Tribune article criticizing it. In my experience, we usually see these things as forms of appreciation—however flawed—and are only annoyed when they’re used to perpetuate stereotypes, e.g. representations of men with swords sitting on cushions in a harem with veiled but naked (?) women belly dance around them.

Edit: Sorry, just saw that you cleared out the discussion. Feel free to delete.
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  #958  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 7:42 PM
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Ironically a Nederlander is a person from the Netherlands
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  #959  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 8:09 PM
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Naming it for Dutch people is super offensive! Now there's going to be a big outrage from the Dutch-American community. How dare they?!
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  #960  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2018, 10:15 PM
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Ironically the name Nederlander paired with the orientalist motifs of the theater make me think of the Dutch East Indies and therefore Java/Indonesia and therefore the ugliness and evils of colonialism, which is more negative connotation and thought than I would have ever had when thinking of "Oriental." Fucking ridiculous.
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