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Let's Get Kraken

What Do You Think Cultural Appropriation Is?

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@butterbumps!
- Yes aboriginal art made and sold by people who are not by birth Australian aboriginal. I'd suggest this might be offensive because the meaning of the art is not appreciated and trivialised. 

- Maybe you could list some cases of CA you feel are genuine to help the discussion.

- Now I listed out on this thread a number of instances I have deemed to be rather trivial and fuelled by outrage culture. It would be probably helpful to the discussion I think if you came out and said whether you thought any of those incidents were where people have misapplied the idea of CA or they were correct to be outraged.  I'm getting the sense that nobody here wants to come out and say what they actually think about any of these incidents. The ones you bolded are pretty pertinent.

- Ok I think we then both agree that CA is often an issue of respect, or at least in what maybe we both agree are genuine cases of CA. If someone is trivialising something that means something in particular to a culture then there is a problem, no doubt. But then at the same time many of these are cases of one culture just admiring another culture and taking it on board because they just like it so much. They might not understand the meanings as well but the intention is normally quite innocent. 


- Really you don't need to know about British / Indian history to understand my example or what I'm getting at. The point is clear.. in that the reality is messy. In this case its impossible to decide who exactly would be disrespected because the boundaries of the culture are so mixed, and you couldn't really make a coherent rule for who deserves compensation or reparations. I could make the same example about a Mexican restaurant, and I did. The reality is messy. Its incredibly hard to ring fence off culture and apportion it to people, people who may have no connection at all to it except for the colour of their skin or the country they were born in. 

- I've mentioned numerous times issues that might affect minorities and what we should do to help them. Talk about incarceration rates or police violence, education statistics.. I don't know why you think CA has to be a launching point, or that this even needs a launching point. These are serious subjects.





 

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8 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

It's genuinely become hard to remember which are the troll accounts. That being said, I do think it's worth denouncing the overreactions to cultural appropriation. If only because it is the kind of nonsense that gets used to poison the well regarding the public discourse on the matter. People need to hear educated voices speaking against cultural appropriation that also distinguish themselves from the crazies. 

Recall which account constantly employs 'strawman' as the definitive rebuttal to anything that show his posts are full of -- well, errors.  The pea has been vewy vewy vewy quiet since the midterms.  However the rhetorical style has reappeared . . . .

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34 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

- I've mentioned numerous times issues that might affect minorities and what we should do to help them. Talk about incarceration rates or police violence, education statistics.. I don't know why you think CA has to be a launching point, or that this even needs a launching point. These are serious subjects.

Feel free to start a thread there where your ignorance lack of interest may not be as flagrant. This thread is related to Cultural Appropriation -- if you don't feel that the topic is interesting or relevant from your perspective ... then. don't. post. about. in. that. thread. Not that hard bud.

Remember that this is a US-centric board, so most of the conversation for those topic is regarded and engaged with from a US POV unless otherwise specified.

Go forth and prosper.

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43 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Recall which account constantly employs 'strawman' as the definitive rebuttal to anything that show his posts are full of -- well, errors.  The pea has been vewy vewy vewy quiet since the midterms.  However the rhetorical style has reappeared . . . .

Yeah but are they really trolls, or are they just terrible people? :/

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2 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah but are they really trolls, or are they just terrible people? :/

At the end of the day what really is the difference between someone who actually believes terrible things and someone who just says terrible things for a laugh? Honestly they both terrible, and the troll is arguably worse.

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4 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

At the end of the day what really is the difference between someone who actually believes terrible things and someone who just says terrible things for a laugh? Honestly they both terrible, and the troll is arguably worse.

Trolls are usually teenagers who eventually grow up. Zoe Quinn had a whole section in her memior where she basically cops to having once been the same type of anonymous keyboard warrior that would go on to make her own life a living hell after GamerGate happened. 

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19 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

At the end of the day what really is the difference between someone who actually believes terrible things and someone who just says terrible things for a laugh? Honestly they both terrible, and the troll is arguably worse.

I feel like this needs to be put on a philosophy raptor meme. :P

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16 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

At the end of the day what really is the difference between someone who actually believes terrible things and someone who just says terrible things for a laugh? Honestly they both terrible, and the troll is arguably worse.

The peas, froggies, etc. are both terrible people and trolls.  That's why they're trolls.  They went quiet after the election, but changed their handles and are back.  They may all even be the same poster as the rhetorical approach is so unimaginatively the same.  But who cares?  Since they are filled with worthless sewage, which, composed entirely of toxic materials, can't even be used as fertilizer. 

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6 hours ago, Week said:

Feel free to start a thread there where your ignorance lack of interest may not be as flagrant. This thread is related to Cultural Appropriation -- if you don't feel that the topic is interesting or relevant from your perspective ... then. don't. post. about. in. that. thread. Not that hard bud.

Remember that this is a US-centric board, so most of the conversation for those topic is regarded and engaged with from a US POV unless otherwise specified.

Go forth and prosper.

Way to totally miss the point there. Congratulations 

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2 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Way to totally miss the point there. Congratulations 

Thanks. 

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10 hours ago, Zorral said:

Recall which account constantly employs 'strawman' as the definitive rebuttal to anything that show his posts are full of -- well, errors.  The pea has been vewy vewy vewy quiet since the midterms.  However the rhetorical style has reappeared . . . .

It's very sad that I need to talk about strawmanning so often, but what can I do when you constantly take my positions and then twist it into something else so that it justifies your one dimensional view of me as 'the bad guy'? No matter what I say, you see me as an evil nazi, and you interpret my posts accordingly, even when the meaning is quite obvious. So really, what can I do but point out that you're not engaging with me honestly?

As for the midterms, it's less about that, and more about the lack of time in my personal life, with the coming end of the semester and all that.

9 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

At the end of the day what really is the difference between someone who actually believes terrible things and someone who just says terrible things for a laugh? Honestly they both terrible, and the troll is arguably worse.

I know you've repeated it so many times that you actually believe it, but what terrible things do I believe in? You should be able to list a few, if I'm really the terrible person you think I am.

(Will I get an honest reply to this instead of being dismissed as a troll? It's almost too much to hope for... )

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11 hours ago, Heartofice said:

@butterbumps!
- Yes aboriginal art made and sold by people who are not by birth Australian aboriginal. I'd suggest this might be offensive because the meaning of the art is not appreciated and trivialised. 

Does the idea that non-Aboriginal people are profiting from something they are copying from Aboriginal people factor into what you find offensive about it?   

Do you find the idea of not appreciating the meaning of a culture's art an act of offensive trivialization applicable to all cultures?  Do you feel this way only about plastic art, or do you consider it problematic when it's also the copying of dance or tribal dress or tattoos, or hairstyles of the Aboriginal peoples?   

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- Ok I think we then both agree that CA is often an issue of respect, or at least in what maybe we both agree are genuine cases of CA. If someone is trivialising something that means something in particular to a culture then there is a problem, no doubt. But then at the same time many of these are cases of one culture just admiring another culture and taking it on board because they just like it so much. They might not understand the meanings as well but the intention is normally quite innocent. 

But what if the non Aboriginal artisans making Aboriginal art divorced from meaning are also doing it with super good intentions???   They just like the style!   Kind of like how someone might like the style of hair, dance or dress that holds a ton of meaning to another culture.  

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- Really you don't need to know about British / Indian history to understand my example or what I'm getting at. The point is clear.. in that the reality is messy. In this case its impossible to decide who exactly would be disrespected because the boundaries of the culture are so mixed, and you couldn't really make a coherent rule for who deserves compensation or reparations. I could make the same example about a Mexican restaurant, and I did. The reality is messy. Its incredibly hard to ring fence off culture and apportion it to people, people who may have no connection at all to it except for the colour of their skin or the country they were born in. 

Calling attention to cases of CA isn't really about ringing off culture or performing a static containment of culture.   It's part of the much larger context of acknowledging, or even just in understanding, privilege.  I'm not sure that people who denounce cultural appropriation are doing so with the idea that a white person should never, ever be able to wear box braids or sell something heavily influenced by another culture, without criticism or feedback or paying back some kind of dues to the culture.  But in a current society of rampant structural racism and continued marginalization of people, I think the idea is that cases of CA probably should be called out because it is a part of that larger story of structural marginalization.   

In other words, I think the liberal goal would be to get to a point in society where anyone can wear and do anything, within reason (religious objects might remain in a kind of off-limits status in this scenario).  However, a consensual cultural exchange hasn't yet occurred to make that feel equitable or fair.  It's an incredible privilege to be able to slip in and out of cultural elements at a whim or as a "style," or to be able to profit or market these things.   Drawing someone's attention to this tangible expression of privilege doesn't seem like a terrible idea.  I think there's value in making clear where something comes from and what the history behind it is.  You can head off the potential mob by doing this yourself preemptively, or apologizing and acknowledging the lapse if called out on it.   When people admit their cluelessness and apologize genuinely, it tends to stem the angry mob you seem so concerned with.  The over-the-top reactions look petty when someone immediately acknowledges their mistake and owns it.  There's no shame in being caught, correcting yourself, learning from the experience, and not doing it the same way again.  

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- I've mentioned numerous times issues that might affect minorities and what we should do to help them. Talk about incarceration rates or police violence, education statistics.. I don't know why you think CA has to be a launching point, or that this even needs a launching point. These are serious subjects.

Yea, first of all, there's always "some more serious" or "the real issue" we could be discussing to address these problems.   

I also never claimed that CA had to be a launching point or was the only one.  I mentioned that CA strikes me as a fairly good launching point because it's a tangible, accessible segue into a larger, potentially more abstract discussion about marginalization and privilege.  

Also, exactly how well do you think these "moderates" take discussions about police violence, education statistics and what have you?  What makes you think they'd take those discussions any better?   

Edited by butterbumps!

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- Maybe you could list some cases of CA you feel are genuine to help the discussion.

- Now I listed out on this thread a number of instances I have deemed to be rather trivial and fuelled by outrage culture. It would be probably helpful to the discussion I think if you came out and said whether you thought any of those incidents were where people have misapplied the idea of CA or they were correct to be outraged. 

I think this discussion would be more productive if you answered these questions I've asked you.

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4 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I think this discussion would be more productive if you answered these questions I've asked you.

How so?   In what way does my not providing examples of what I consider CA impede your ability to fully articulate what you consider CA?    You’re the one with the super hot takes on CA being mostly bullshit, not me.   And you’ve been giving half-answers to what you believe CA is and isn’t, and there’s been no consistent logic to it.   A productive discussion would involve your responding to— at minimum— this part of my previous post, because it’s concerned with teasing out your method of determining what constitutes CA.

58 minutes ago, butterbumps! said:

Does the idea that non-Aboriginal people are profiting from something they are copying from Aboriginal people factor into what you find offensive about it?   

Do you find the idea of not appreciating the meaning of a culture's art an act of offensive trivialization applicable to all cultures?  Do you feel this way only about plastic art, or do you consider it problematic when it's also the copying of dance or tribal dress or tattoos, or hairstyles of the Aboriginal peoples?   

But what if the non Aboriginal artisans making Aboriginal art divorced from meaning are also doing it with super good intentions???   They just like the style!   Kind of like how someone might like the style of hair, dance or dress that holds a ton of meaning to another culture.  

 

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2 minutes ago, butterbumps! said:

How so?   In what way does my not providing examples of what I consider CA impede your ability to fully articulate what you consider CA?    You’re the one with the super hot takes on CA being mostly bullshit, not me.   And you’ve been giving half-answers to what you believe CA is and isn’t, and there’s been no consistent logic to it.   A productive discussion would involve your responding to— at minimum— this part of my previous post, because it’s concerned with teasing out your method of determining what constitutes CA.

 

Well mainly out of politeness that I have asked numerous times what you do and don't consider CA and you have dodged the question every time while I have been required to answer the same question. I'm not sure how this conversation can be fruitful if one party is being evasive.

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@butterbumps!

Ok I'm having a quiet morning and it seems that we might wait here forever for someone to actually put their butts on the line and come out and label what they feel is and isn't acceptable cultural appropriation. 

So I'm going to go ahead and answer the above questions. 

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Does the idea that non-Aboriginal people are profiting from something they are copying from Aboriginal people factor into what you find offensive about it?   

Getting to the heart of this, culture cannot be owned, it isn't the same thing as property, and therefore you cannot 'steal' it. Your analogy of someone coming into a house and taking their stuff doesn't fit because nothing is being taken, you would still own the elements you suggest are being taken. A better analogy would be someone coming in , seeing all the things you own and then going and making their own versions. 

So the idea of profit is a complicated one. It suggests that nobody should profit from something they do not own, or that by profiting from something, the original 'owner' cannot profit. But mostly that simply isn't the case, this isn't a zero sum game. A famous artist creating something using traditional aboriginal styles might create a demand for more authentic art, they would not really be preventing anyone from making or selling anything and may in fact increase demand. You could consider whether Elvis prevented black artists from selling records or did his popularity help to increase interest in traditionally black music. It was a bit of both and its complex and not linear. I mean did Eminem prevent Jay Z making money?

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Do you find the idea of not appreciating the meaning of a culture's art an act of offensive trivialization applicable to all cultures? 

Well it depends. What is the deeper meaning and who is the gatekeeper of that meaning. If I start wearing a crucifix as a fashion symbol I may well be offending a lot of Cristians because it is missing the true meaning of the symbol. I definitely  concede that people should be made aware of the meaning of some symbols to cultures if they are going to adorn themselves with them. Then they can decide if they still want to carry on. And sometimes we have to offend people in our art and creativity, being offended is not violence. 

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Calling attention to cases of CA isn't really about ringing off culture or performing a static containment of culture.   It's part of the much larger context of acknowledging, or even just in understanding, privilege.

Well here is a problem. Because I agree that it can be used to call attention to problems that some people might be unaware of ( I don't think it is the best way or even a useful way in many cases) but it absolutely in many cases is about ring fencing culture and setting up gatekeepers of culture. If we go back to many of the examples I've previously posted about, be it Katy Perry, Jennifer Lawrence or that instagram girl, the intention might on some level have been to create discussion and highlight issues, but at the same time it was also saying 'you do not have the right to access this culture' and the overall effect is quite often to temporarily shut up someone and bring out an apology, but at the same time to disengage from the greater issues.

BTW I think this diagram is really good. The paradox of cultural appropriation is that for it to work as a concept you have to practice cultural essentialism. This goes along with my original point that by focusing on culture as a series of ring fenced elements you only lead to more division and separation of cultures.

Paradox of CA
 

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I think the liberal goal would be to get to a point in society where anyone can wear and do anything, within reason (religious objects might remain in a kind of off-limits status in this scenario).  However, a consensual cultural exchange hasn't yet occurred to make that feel equitable or fair.

I think we agree on the overall goal, and I am saying that we are moving further and further away from that goal with each new and daily incident of CA in the news. We are moving more towards a state of essentialism and that is a problem, we are getting to a point where cultural exchange is becoming very difficult, where everyone is acting like gatekeepers and preventing genuine creativity. That is the nature of the internet I guess which is constantly reacting to everything. 

Again this conversation would be FAR easier had to come out and brought examples of what you thought was trivial and non trivial. Its very difficult to discuss hypothetical examples. 

Edited by Heartofice

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On 11/12/2018 at 10:22 PM, Ormond said:

You are correct.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/Gypsy#etymonline_v_14411 https://tirereviews.co/

And the idea that "Gypsy" was derived from "gyp" rather than vice versa is also incorrect, as the earliest example of "gyp" as a verb is from 1794 while the earliest examples of the noun "Gypsy" are from around 1600.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/gyp#etymonline_v_14409

well this sounds interesting, maybe because I have a neutral position toward gypsies.

 

Edited by Musidn

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