Cultural Appropriation - Your Take?

randulo

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#1
I'd be pleased to hear your ideas, as artists, but also as "consumers" of art, notably music.

You may have heard about cultural appropriation, which is becoming a thing, even in restaurants. I'm going to a favorite Paris Thai restaurant soon, run by a Frenchman. The food is prepared by Thai, I'm guessing a wife and mother-in-law. Here's a man who probably visited Thailand and fell in love with the food. There are many such stories in America, a man or woman brings something they loved from another culture. This is now being called out by the social justice warriors as cultural appropriation.

If you want to read my opinion, I wrote about it here. In short, I tried to explain how in music, cop and blow, though they didn't call it that in 1930's jazz, has always been how derivative art is created. Someone loves a style and borrows from it.

joss.jpeg
 

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David Roach

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#2
I'm with you. This quote “If we police boundaries too strictly, we’re stifling the possibility of cross-fertilisation and invention. If you do it well enough, it’s not appropriation, it’s conversation.” hits the nail on the head.
If I go to a Vietnamese Restaurant in London (there are two or three really good ones locally) I judge the food on its merits, whether the chef is Vietnamese or not (although I suspect she usually is). If the business is run by an British person (or whatever) it's immaterial, because that person is (hopefully) a legitimate business person.
To accuse artists of cultural appropriation is only anywhere near valid if there is no original take, no personal input. Even then it's a stretch, we can't all be great talents. Jazz musicians learn by copying, then hopefully they move on to use their technique in ever-growing original ways. If they don't, then usually they don't succeed to the same extent as those who do.

I believe that the trend of calling people out for their sins, although legitimate, has become dangerously weaponized and political. Yes, if Mr or Mrs XYZ broke the law or is proved to be a sh**-bag then they need to be called to account. Bullying, assault, inappropriate behaviour (sexual or otherwise), theft of property in any form, are all unacceptable and generally punishable under the law. But the deliberate use of of this as a political weapon or a business ploy is despicable. Decent folks can understand this.
 

Targa

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#3
You may have heard about cultural appropriation, which is becoming a thing, even in restaurants. I'm going to a favorite Paris Thai restaurant soon, run by a Frenchman. The food is prepared by Thai, I'm guessing a wife and mother-in-law. Here's a man who probably visited Thailand and fell in love with the food. There are many such stories in America, a man or woman brings something they loved from another culture. This is now being called out by the social justice warriors as cultural appropriation.
Do SJWs drink tea, coffee, eat potatoes etc.?
They get everywhere, always waving their prejudices without thinking.
 

Halfers

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#4
The notion of cultural appropriation can be valid, but I agree, it can also be entirely misread by people who have no other motive than be offended. Best not to be offended by these people and move on.
 

randulo

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#5
The SJW make themselves feel good by jumping on these social networks, it's annoying as hell. An actress dresses in an Asian-inspired robe, all hell breaks loose. But especially in music, as I point out in my articles, we've all borrowed from each other. The jazz guys took Debussy and so many others, the classical/legit composers used jazz. It's all one!
 

Halfers

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#6
Do SJWs drink tea, coffee, eat potatoes etc.?
They get everywhere, always waving their prejudices without thinking.
I'm not so sure that food stuffs that have been historically traded between nations and cultures on a reasonably equal footing can be considered examples of cultural appropriation.
 

Jules

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#8
My first thought is- as a Yorkshireman- living in Brighton, who was brought up half way between the Jewish and West Indian part of town (and married to an Australian)… what exactly is my indigenous culture supposed to be? OK- I can clearly identify cultural tropes which aren’t mine but, were I to default to what I “should” be affiliated to is somewhat baffling.

More to follow when I can from some more coherent thoughts
 

Veggie Dave

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#9
As white Europeans it is, for the most part, incredibly difficult to grasp why something in someone else's culture could be taken so seriously. But that's because we come from a society that has spent centuries imposing its idea of culture upon countries viewed as woefully inferior. Of course we don't take seriously another country's culture - it's an ingrained attitude.

Off the top of my head I can't think of a single western European country that hasn't chased the idea of empire. I can only think of a couple of eastern European countries that haven't.

So, how can we make it relevant to those of us who don't understand why other cultures don't like their heritage and beliefs being (ab)used in meaningless ways? Think of it this way - one group of people consider something to be rather important and get upset when another group of people treat that same thing with thoughtlessness, disdain or ridicule.

For example, Americans and their flag. It's just a bit of cloth yet look at the anger, hatred and even violence that explodes when another culture says or does something to it. To me it's absolutely unfathomable.

Or how about how seriously people take jazz? Not long after I first joined the forum I posted a funny image of a sign that banned jazz from a nature park. That garnered some quite aggressive responses from those who thought I had absolutely no right to criticise their favourite music.

A friend recently posted an amusing image of the Queen and Philip. Given the context of this post you can probably guess the response he got from certain quarters. How about the artist who changed the poses of former presidents in paintings in the Oval Office? That resulted in accusations of treason and demands for violent retribution.

Gods and religions are cultural. I think we all know that the religious aren't big on being ridiculed or having their gods and/or icons used by non-believers.

How about language? I know I absolutely hate how the English language is viciously and continually raped by those who don't understand either the beauty of it or the necessity to express and write it accurately to be understood. To many others we're just pedantic grammar nazis. France even has a powerful organisation whose sole reason to exist is to protect French from the pollution of other languages. What about food? Just ask Jamie Oliver how seriously Italians take their recipes. Having said that, I recently sent back an alleged Arrabiata to the chef, with a long list of criticisms which included the suggestion that he visits Italy and buys a recipe book that's not written for microwaves, so I understand the Italians fully. ;)

There will always be those who are offended on behalf of someone else, and those who love to wallow in the distress of others, but that doesn't negate the legitimacy of the feelings of those directly offended on the occasions when they actually are, whether you understand them or not.

Personally, I don't know why anyone takes any of this seriously, but I do understand some do and may even adapt my attitude and/or comments accordingly so as not to offend.
 

spike

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#10
cultural appropriation
It's been around a long time - it's the essence of evolution - a perfectly natural process.
Personally, I don't know why anyone takes any of this seriously, but I do understand some do and may even adapt my attitude and/or comments accordingly so as not to offend.
Personally I'm quite happy to offend and get up the noses of the purist snowflakes especially those who claim their language is pure be it the spoken word, cuisine, philosophy, religion, art etc.
The universe has been evolving and will continue to for goodness knows how long, I don't know I don't even wear a watch.
 

Targa

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#11
I'm not so sure that food stuffs that have been historically traded between nations and cultures on a reasonably equal footing can be considered examples of cultural appropriation.
I was using hyperbole - SJWs are everywhere on the internet always crying on behalf of others. I'm sure they could, if they chose to, claim that the manner in which tea was consumed in a formal setting when it was first introduced and extremely expensive mimicked an asian tea drinking ceremony.
People choose to be offended, would they be so outraged by a restaurant in Thailand, (or a Chinese take away here), selling 'traditional British' fish and chips.
 

Targa

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#12
As white Europeans it is, for the most part, incredibly difficult to grasp why something in someone else's culture could be taken so seriously. But that's because we come from a society that has spent centuries imposing its idea of culture upon countries viewed as woefully inferior. Of course we don't take seriously another country's culture - it's an ingrained attitude.

Off the top of my head I can't think of a single western European country that hasn't chased the idea of empire. I can only think of a couple of eastern European countries that haven't.
That rather contradicts the queues around the block when the treasures of Tutankhamun were on display and the hippie trail to the east, to name but two examples.
I wouldn't presume to speak for 'white Europeans for the most part', unless I'd actually asked him I wouldn't presume the man next door agreed with my opinion about the price of sprouts.

Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland.
 

randulo

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#13
It's pretty much agreed that blackface is not cool, but that's not cultural appropriation, that's a lame show business thing that was done decades ago (Al Jolson, the jazz singer -- doubly offensive!). Amos & Andy, the radio show was performed by two white guys and it was criticized, to no avail. It also was IMO over the line and indeed CA. For you Brits and youngsters, Amos & Andy was an American scripted comedy with pseudo-black voices. It's before even my time.

There are cases where behavious is insensitive, but back to OUR field, music.
Reggae -> Police,
Rap->Eminem, etc.
Blues -> Clapton, Page, Hendrix (oh, wait)
Here's a great example of cultural adoption, respect and admiration. They didn't call themselves Average White Band for nothing!

Put it Where You Want It!

Bass player is laying down a funk groove and singing; respect. And some for the hair to his left.

Cold Blood has some cold blooded horn arrangements!
 

Halfers

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#14
I was using hyperbole - SJWs are everywhere on the internet always crying on behalf of others. I'm sure they could, if they chose to, claim that the manner in which tea was consumed in a formal setting when it was first introduced and extremely expensive mimicked an asian tea drinking ceremony.
People choose to be offended, would they be so outraged by a restaurant in Thailand, (or a Chinese take away here), selling 'traditional British' fish and chips.
Understood. Though I don't get all this 'people on the internet getting upset about people on the internet getting upset' Just seems all a bit circular and pointless to me. Anyway, I'm off for a mug of Green Tea and to play my Sitar...Hang on, which one of you kids stole my Sari!!
 

Jazzaferri

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#16
Ever since we became tribal, I rather suspect that the concept of being a parasite on the backs of other humans has been practiced to some extent or other.

There have been Chinese, Mongolian, Indian, South Asian empires.

It took me a while to figure out SJW……..ROFL what an oxymoronic label
 
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