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Let's Get Kraken

What Do You Think Cultural Appropriation Is?

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Well actually I do remember a time when it was angry Christian groups getting TV shows pulled off the air, getting teachers fired for assigning a book they didn't like, etc.

I think we can all agree that cyber hit-mobs have lost their charm, and that people are entitled to a certain amount of privacy in their personal lives (public figures and institutions aside). 

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4 hours ago, Altherion said:

People have, but this kind of outrage does not have the power that its left-wing counterpart does (i.e. it's not likely to get people fired from their job over a Halloween costume).

This is a general feature of the market system: the entity which gets paid (both in money and in cultural influence) is the one which successfully sells its product to the mass market. It's quite often the case that this is not the same entity as first develops a product of this type; the earlier products are either lacking in some way or simply aren't marketed properly and their creators get very little. The successful artists in the case you describe put made the work palatable to the mainstream so they reaped the rewards.

Sure, made the work palatable by virtue of not being black 

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12 hours ago, Ran said:

And yet the spread of culture would have happened regardless of the "means".

That does not mean that discussing whether the means are OK or not is pointless. 

 

12 hours ago, Ran said:

Anything can be used as a tool of colonisation.  This doesn't change the fact that culture spreads by its very nature, because no one actually owns culture. The attempt to apply ownership, moral or otherwise, to cultural practice is such a bizzare thing, because it's so explicitly capitalist in conception. 

Only if we accept that capitalism owns the concept of ownership! :p

12 hours ago, Ran said:

It is always inevitable that culture spreads. The spread of culture is not a bad thing. Oppression of people is, but whenever people meet, culture spreads, so I think you do have to divorce these things.

Sure. You can divorce them by using different terminology, for example 'culture spread' vs 'cultural appropriation'. 

I feel like there's an assumption underlying the discussion here that's actually producing most of the disagreement, and that is that 'cultural appropriation' is interchangeable with or indistinguishable from culture spread. Whereas I would say that it's a very separate term, specifically applied. 

12 hours ago, Ran said:

In fact, the only injustice I can imagine in terms of culture spreading is its opposite, namely actively attempting to destroy culture and prevent its free spread.

This usually happens in conjunction with culture spread, though, doesn't it? Cultures are not destroyed to leave a vacuum: they're destroyed in order to be replaced. Dominant cultures use their power to eliminate 'lesser' ones, as with colonists and colonised. Sometimes, this means incorporating persistent, difficult to eliminate elements of the 'lesser' culture into the dominant culture: making indigenous gods into demons in the dominant pantheon, for example. 

12 hours ago, Ran said:

I can't even imagine a world whose first principle is "No cultural appropriation". It'd be a world of cultures not meeting, not mixing, not reforming.

It absolutely would not, no. That's that fundamental misunderstanding of what 'cultural appropriation' means that I referred to earlier. 

5 hours ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Well actually I do remember a time when it was angry Christian groups getting TV shows pulled off the air, getting teachers fired for assigning a book they didn't like, etc.

I remember it too, because it's now. 

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On 11/3/2018 at 8:28 PM, Sour Billy Tipton said:

You said nothing wrong.  This whole thread is subjective and in no way is the concept of cultural appropriation a progressive one.  I'm an Italian American and I don't give a shit when I see an image of Super Mario or some fat little guy with a mustache on a generic pizza box.  I'm too busy working and paying taxes.  

Italians were shit on by the "Madigans" as soon as they entered --legally--Ellis Island.  My ancestors were called grease balls, degos, WOPs (without papers).  They didn't create a safe space or ask for representation in government.  They were busy working and paying taxes as well.

Besides the Native Americans, we're all foreigners in the USA.  All of our ancestors have been subjected to racism.  Get over it.  

This is another convenient way for liberals to pick and choose which behavior is appropriate and which cultures deserve special protection.   No matter how often they fail, they'll continue to believe empowering people through labeling them victims is the appropriate course of acion.

I wonder if you’d care more about those things if Italians hadn’t been accepted into the canon of whiteness years ago, though.   I’m fully acknowledging the discrimmination against and hardship of Italians (and other immigrant groups).  However, it’s not true that these groups were being “too busy paying taxes” or not looking for government representation or not creating “safe spaces.”   I mean, look at the Italian Antidefamation League, Knights of Columbus, and the lobbying to create Columbus Day.  That’s pretty clear identity politics right there.   Italians certainly did care about the discrimmination and did address it directly in order to further integrate and be seen as legitimate in American culture.

I think it’s a myth to believe that these immigrant groups rose from discrimmination solely through hard work and grit, lifted bootstraps and all.   In addition to intentional lobbying and identity politics on the part of these groups, it’s important to keep in mind that the definition of “whiteness” itself expanded to include them, separating them from less “desirable others” that could still be excluded from that designation.

Edited by butterbumps!

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6 hours ago, Altherion said:

People have, but this kind of outrage does not have the power that its left-wing counterpart does (i.e. it's not likely to get people fired from their job over a Halloween costume).

This is a general feature of the market system: the entity which gets paid (both in money and in cultural influence) is the one which successfully sells its product to the mass market. It's quite often the case that this is not the same entity as first develops a product of this type; the earlier products are either lacking in some way or simply aren't marketed properly and their creators get very little. The successful artists in the case you describe put made the work palatable to the mainstream so they reaped the rewards.

Bullshit. Black artists were not played on white radio stations due to segregation. White kids would tune into the so called 'race' stations and listen to the music. White artists copied the songs and had them played on mainstream stations totry and bring the kids back. There was no fair competition that separated the winners from the losers. Your argument is utter bullshit. 

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Yeah, the history of modern popular music in the US is deeply related to the fact that being white opened doors that being black shut for many, many years. The "market" was deeply segregated. Do, yeah, Altherion, that is bullshit unless you want to ackniwledge that "lacking in some way" = being black when it came to popular music.

 

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55 minutes ago, Ran said:

Yeah, the history of modern popular music in the US is deeply related to the fact that being white opened doors that being black shut for many, many years. The "market" was deeply segregated. Do, yeah, Altherion, that is bullshit unless you want to ackniwledge that "lacking in some way" = being black when it came to popular music.

 

Totally, and not like there was a "free" market when it came to music in any event.  Payola was TOTALLY a thing, and until Soundscan started accurately reporting actual sales, record stores self-reported, and did so in a way that strangely enough disadvantaged artists of color.  If you look at chart history, once you get to the Soundscan era, almost immediately rap starts charting in the top 40....funny how that worked.

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4 hours ago, mormont said:

I remember it too, because it's now. 

That's an exaggeration. Twenty years ago you never could have had a show like Steven Universe on a children's network, with openly gay and gender-fluid characters taking center stage. Stranger in a Strange Land used to be banned in schools, now it's on summer reading lists. The reason for this is there has been tremendous pushback against that sort of censorship and mob intimidation by both artists and secularists, and folks within these Christian communities who were not afraid of exposing their children to an expanded perspective. 

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17 hours ago, Ran said:

 

And yet the spread of culture would have happened regardless of the "means". As soon as two cultures meet, they remix one another's elements. There is no justice or injustice in cultural spreading. It's simply the nature of culture. The first paleoamerican to pop corn didn't necessarily intend for it to pass its way up from Mexico to the eastern seaboard, and we can be sure that knowledge didn't always spread "peacefully", but it is what it is. Culture spreads, will we or nil we. Putting false boundaries on who can use culture is like trying to put boundaries on where rain falls. 

Anything can be used as a tool of colonisation.  This doesn't change the fact that culture spreads by its very nature, because no one actually owns culture. The attempt to apply ownership, moral or otherwise, to cultural practice is such a bizzare thing, because it's so explicitly capitalist in conception. 

It is always inevitable that culture spreads. The spread of culture is not a bad thing. Oppression of people is, but whenever people meet, culture spreads, so I think you do have to divorce these things. In fact, the only injustice I can imagine in terms of culture spreading is its opposite, namely actively attempting to destroy culture and prevent its free spread.

I can't even imagine a world whose first principle is "No cultural appropriation". It'd be a world of cultures not meeting, not mixing, not reforming. One has to take the good with the bad, from a historical perspective. As to the present day, we can certainly both attempt to understand history and attempt to avoid committing injustices. Don't steal someone else's song or writing, give credit where it's due, and so on. But don't freely borrow new ideas and new ways of looking at things? It's antithetical to the human experience.

Just because it spreads doesn't mean we can't question or criticize how it spreads, especially in the egregious examples that have been mentioned.  I mean, we have concepts like homicide and manslaughter even though death is inevitable.  

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Cultural approporiation in the strict sense is a fairly neutral term, but yes, is more narrow than simply cultural spread (which can happen in all sorts of ways)

I wonder if you’d care more about those things if Italians hadn’t been accepted into the canon of whiteness years ago, though.   I’m fully acknowledging the discrimmination against and hardship of Italians (and other immigrant groups).  However, it’s not true that these groups were being “too busy paying taxes” or not looking for government representation or not creating “safe spaces.”   I mean, look at the Italian Antidefamation League, Knights of Columbus, and the lobbying to create Columbus Day.  That’s pretty clear identity politics right there.   Italians certainly did care about the discrimmination and did address it directly in order to further integrate and be seen as legitimate in American culture.

I think it’s a myth to believe that these immigrant groups rose from discrimmination solely through hard work and grit, lifted bootstraps and all.   In addition to intentional lobbying and identity politics on the part of these groups, it’s important to keep in mind that the definition of “whiteness” itself expanded to include them, separating them from less “desirable others” that could still be excluded from that designation.

 

Definitely this. Italians and Irish (and to some extent jewish communities) especially. 

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11 hours ago, butterbumps! said:

I wonder if you’d care more about those things if Italians hadn’t been accepted into the canon of whiteness years ago, though.  

Give me a specific date of that historical day.  

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no formal induction to a white society.  We don't turn 18 and have a welcoming party at our doors that bestow balloons and newfound privileges upon us.  Acceptation and success are only granted based upon by work ethic and attitude.  

P.S. You sound ridiculous, "cannon of whiteness".  Substitute the prefix of the last word in that term with a minority race.  Then go say it in public and see if it's acceptable. 

 

Edited by Sour Billy Tipton

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6 minutes ago, Sour Billy Tipton said:

Give me a specific date of that historical day.  

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no formal induction to a white society.  We don't turn 18 and have a welcoming party at our doors that bestow balloons and newfound privileges upon us.  Acceptation and success are only granted based upon by work ethic and attitude.  

P.S. You sound ridiculous, "cannon of whiteness".  Substitute the prefix of the last word in that term with a minority race.  Then go say it in public and see if it's acceptable. 

 

This post is like a primer of ignorance and white privilege in action.  

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1 minute ago, larrytheimp said:

This post is like a primer of ignorance and white privilege in action.  

I hope the sheep love your comments and give you some joy this evening. 

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32 minutes ago, Sour Billy Tipton said:

Give me a specific date of that historical day.  

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no formal induction to a white society.  We don't turn 18 and have a welcoming party at our doors that bestow balloons and newfound privileges upon us

The concept of ethnic groups’ being accepted as “white” seems to be giving you such a fit of the vapors that you seem unable to engage with it honestly.   Is this really such a controversial concept to you?   That certain ethnicities that were once discriminated against as “nonwhite others” were accepted as “white” over time?  And that acceptance of these ethnicities as white took place a good while ago, at least as it pertains to Italian Americans per the previous comments?

Quote

Acceptation and success are only granted based upon by work ethic and attitude.  

Ok.    So, when the Italian American Anti Defamation League fought against offensive Italian stereotypes (such as lobbying to desist use of the “thatsa a spicy meatball” saying), that was actually a case of work ethic and attitude?   That the hundred+ years of advocacy by Catholic and Italian interest groups to fight discrimmination were something other than interest groups to fight discrimination?

Also, since you seem to believe that acceptance and success were granted, can you give me a specific date of that historic day?

Edited by butterbumps!

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12 hours ago, butterbumps! said:

In addition to intentional lobbying and identity politics on the part of these groups, it’s important to keep in mind that the definition of “whiteness” itself expanded to include them, separating them from less “desirable others” that could still be excluded from that designation.

And why did that happen, in your opinion? Could it have anything to do with them having a good work ethic and attitude?

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5 minutes ago, SweetPea said:

And why did that happen, in your opinion? Could it have anything to do with them having a good work ethic and attitude?

If having a "good work ethic" were enough to make an ethnic group "White", Chinese and Japanese Americans would have been considered White a long time ago. 

Sorry, but I think racism is definitely showing in your statement. 

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4 minutes ago, Ormond said:

If having a "good work ethic" were enough to make an ethnic group "White", Chinese and Japanese Americans would have been considered White a long time ago. 

Sorry, but I think racism is definitely showing in your statement. 

If a "good work ethic" were enough to make people "white" why are Jews still held with suspicion by many?

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29 minutes ago, SweetPea said:

And why did that happen, in your opinion? Could it have anything to do with them having a good work ethic and attitude?

Did you see the previous two posts of mine where I point out how these groups have spent 100+ years advocating for themselves with (multiple!) interest groups to specifically combat discrimmination?    Because the 100+ years of directly addressing the discrimmination as “others” against themselves (not to mention political machines like Tamany Hall and the like to wield influence) has a lot to do with this.  (And a very ugly racial pecking order inspired many of these immigrant groups to emphasize their own “whiteness” to play up the the differences between themselves and other ethnicities, so there’s that layer of self-advocacy in this too.)

But no, it’s a case of just putting nose to grindstone and the good people in power holding you down will just be so impressed by your work ethic they’ll start treating you as equals out of a mutual respect for diligence.

Edited by butterbumps!

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1 hour ago, SweetPea said:

And why did that happen, in your opinion? Could it have anything to do with them having a good work ethic and attitude?

So in other words, people of non European descent that happen to be poor, just don't work hard enough.

I thought I explained this to you, but it didn't register, evidently. 

I guess certain sorts of people agree with Newt Gingrich.

Dear lord.

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