Cultural Appropriation - Your Take?

spike

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#21
You have no heritage to play an oriental instrument, sir.
Do we have to have a heritage to be influenced and play music from another culture on a Belgian instrument.
the concept of being a parasite on the backs of other humans
What ? lost me on that one. I've not been around the world but at least a good half of it and not just as a tourist.
I've lived in and with other tribes and had the opportunity to become part of and absorb some of their culture.
As for SJW. I must admit I didn't know what an SJW was. I had to "Google" it and all suggested defintions appeared to be rather silly.
I might suggest that we rejoice in our ability to absorb, digest and react to all the sensory influences that bombard us on a momentarily basis.
It may sound like a Hippie Hippie Smoke a Banana Peal Shake Philosophy from the 60's:
We live in the moment but watch out and become aware that that moment is travelling at the speed of light if not faster.
It's the main reason I became a musician and gave up painting.
So what's on BBC4 tonight? I'm up for Quantum Physics, Advanced Mathematics, Black Holes, Zen and It's influence on Japanese Culture, The History of Mickey Mouse and old reruns of Inspector Barnaby but his wife and daughter do get on my nerves sometimes.
 

randulo

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#22
The original article was to answer cries that Bruno Mars was getting an award on the backs of black musicians of whom he copied the style. These SJW campaigns have gotten silly and as musicians we can stand side by side with our brethren and sisterthen, this is absurd and many black artists stepped up and said as much. Anyone needing a clue, should watch the show Empire, it's pretty good.
 

Halfers

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#24
I'm better at trivial topics posted here than saxophone, but I hope to see that change next year.
Ha.! You post topics that instigate a discussion. The discussion goes off in all sorts of directions. It's Jazz, Man!! Try to transcribe them into solos ;)
 

spike

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#27
My wife was supposed to have a lunch appointment. It finished early so she came home and I whipped up up a great lunch out of nothing.
There you are you see that's an example of Quantum cooking.
You cooked up a wonderful culinary experience out've nothing which was in fact something that didn't exist before you cooked it or was it?.
Since you whipped up a great lunch out've nothing. What did it taste like?
Did it taste like nothing? ;)
 

altissimo

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#29
I googled 'cultural appropriation' just to find out what it is and found some useful definitions and explanations which I shall proceed to quote/appropriate
Cultural appropriation: what is it and why is it so offensive?

£the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.”

Unlike cultural exchange, in which there is a mutual interchange, appropriation refers to a “particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group”.
Originally derived from sociologist writing in the 1990s, “its usage appears to have first been adopted by indigenous peoples of nations tainted by histories of colonisation, such as Canada, Australia and the United States”
The problem arises when somebody takes something from another less dominant culture in a way that members of that culture find undesirable and offensive. The point is that the more marginalised group doesn’t get a say, while their heritage is deployed by someone in a position of greater privilege – for fun or fashion, perhaps, and out of a place of ignorance rather than knowledge of that culture.
“You are pretending to be a race that you are not and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so.”
Fashion is often singled out as the biggest culprit when it comes to cultural insensitivity. Earlier this year, Gucci was criticised for putting turbans on white models. The Independent reports that “many Sikhs condemned the move as a huge sign of disrespect, pointing out that the turban is a symbol of faith not a fashion accessory”.

there's more on wikipedia if you're bothered - Cultural appropriation - Wikipedia

I think what it comes down to is superficial use of other people's culture and reducing it down to annoying stereotypes and cliches...

There have certainly been black american musicians who weren't happy about having their music exploited by white musicians and on the other hand there have been white british jazz musicians who've not been comfortable about playing a music that wasn't theirs...

you can't copyright an entire culture, but you can understand that it's easy to hurt the feelings of people who have their culture used without anyone bothering to ask if it's ok
 

randulo

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#30
Like most things in life, the concept requires thought, respect and sensitivity. I also rate intent highly on the scale of evaluation. I think there's an agreed sense of what is insulting in a particular culture. My article is based on people saying that Bruno Mars has appropriated black culture while not being black. This is B.S. and my intent was to explain why I say that, why a white Brit can sing the blues if she can sing the blues. Oppressed or ill-treated people definitely have an understandable reaction to certain cultural phenomena. Too often, though, the thought police are out there, using Twitter as an amplifier, turning it into a circus. Twitter has been asked by some to remove the possibility of retweets, because political "boticized" campaigns (and idiots) use it to flood the stream with a particular statement or meme. This leads to people who don't think much about what they see to embrace these concepts, many of which are far more hurtful, insulting and sometimes dangerous than a model or actress wearing an Asian-inspired dress.
 

Alice

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#31
I’m not familiar with Bruno Mars music, but I know the name. What is it about his musical expression that makes it appear to be stolen from Black culture? Why is there this controversy in the first place? I did use google to find out some basic info and discovered that he was born in Hawaii. Is it that he is expected to stay within a range of surfing vibes comprised of ukulele and Hawaiian guitar? If so, then isn’t that hypocritical? Isn’t that in itself being oppressive and dictatorial? The Pacific Islanders also have a history of oppression.
I agree with the OP that this is an unfair attack on a musical artist and that the accusation is wrong. I do not understand why the music he creates is said to be stolen.
On the other hand, I do understand why a white woman wearing a Cheongsam is upsetting, I abhor the treatment of Native American culture and the way that it has been exploited to the extent that mass produced items are made in China and the Philippines and mean nothing to the person who buys them and the fashion designer who send his models down the runways wearing tribal headdresses disgusts me. I can understand why the German people have expressed disgust and annoyance at British men and women who arrive for Oktoberfest wearing cheap, fancy dress costumes or looking like prostitutes, ridiculing their culture and causing offence by wearing some obscene and sexualised version of the Dirndl. That’s not “ok” either!
 

randulo

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#32
@Alice in a word, I feel you. Oh, I shouldn't use that expression, I heard often on TV shows with black characters. But I think it's a great way to say "I hear you". There are limits, and what you say about stuff manufactured in Asia is true, although unrelated in my view. I had only heard of Bruno Mars, never heard his stuff, but I know he's won awards and is a big star in pop. He is mixed race and has nothing to defend, although well-known black artists made statements to the effect that there was absolutely nothing wrong with what he does. I played blues licks with Freddy King, he didn't seem to find that offensive. (I was horrible that gig. He was hired by us to replace our front man, and I was so intimidated I could play a solo when he nodded over to me.) A lot of singers adopt an African-American style. It's because they love it, not to insult anyone, which is doesn't.

Interesting about the Germans, it never occurred to me that they were sensitive about leather pants and such. But then, it would never occur to me to go somewhere dressed as any culture. I'm poorly-dressed at every event.
 
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#33
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.
“The Italians?” “THE Italians?” What nation is that? I had an (Italian) teacher whose parents didn’t speak Italian, they only spoke Genovese. And you know what they would have said about Arrabiata - funny foreign muck. Etc etc…
btw Po, river and region, is a mongol/ Chinese word meaning marshland (thank Ghengis Khan for that)
 

Alice

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#34
what you say about stuff manufactured in Asia is true, although unrelated in my view.
How can you say it is unrelated when one culture is being exploited by having articles and totems from their heritage and culture mass produced for the sake of lining somebody else's capitalist pocket, who does not care?
 

Halfers

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#35
How can you say it is unrelated when one culture is being exploited by having articles and totems from their heritage and culture mass produced for the sake of lining somebody else's capitalist pocket, who does not care?
Absolutely. From my little kitchen I consider @Alice 's point to be absolutely to do with Cultural Appropriation. Much of the discussion here in my tiny opinion is related to the misunderstanding [EDIT: or the distortion] (deliberate or not) of Cultural Appropriation. That in itself is a discussion point, so nonetheless valid (and interesting)
 
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Stephen Howard

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#36
... causing offence by wearing some obscene and sexualised version of the Dirndl. That’s not “ok” either!
The thing I find most curious about 'cultural appropriation' is that it's very dependent on how far back in history one is prepared to look.
The Dirndl example raised a wry smile - because my mother, being Austrian, often wore one. It was originally the traditional garment of rural peasant women - until a canny dressmaker pitched it to the gentry. This would be akin to Jacob Rees-Mogg turning up for Question Time dressed in a Pearly King outfit.
You can probably bet your last Mozart-Kugeln that hardly anyone at the Oktoberfest is 'culturally entitled' to wear a Dirndl.
 

Alice

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#37
The thing I find most curious about 'cultural appropriation' is that it's very dependent on how far back in history one is prepared to look.
The Dirndl example raised a wry smile - because my mother, being Austrian, often wore one. It was originally the traditional garment of rural peasant women - until a canny dressmaker pitched it to the gentry. This would be akin to Jacob Rees-Mogg turning up for Question Time dressed in a Pearly King outfit.
You can probably bet your last Mozart-Kugeln that hardly anyone at the Oktoberfest is 'culturally entitled' to wear a Dirndl.
My childrens' grandparents are Austrian.
I understand the history of the Dirndl and I also understand why it is offensive that British women wear slutty versions of it and look and behave like drunken prostitutes at Oktoberfest and so do the local people celebrating.
It seems to me that some people think that you can pick and choose what culture to trash and which ones you can't.
 

Targa

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#38
It seems to me that some people think that you can pick and choose what culture to trash and which ones you can't.
Nobody cries cultural appropriation when American and Japanese tourists wear 'traditional', (George IV, Sir Walter Scott, Victorians), Scottish tartans, in itself cultural appropriation of the original regional dress.
Or when people get dressed up and get traditionally pissed in Oirish themed pubs on St Patrick's day.
 

Halfers

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#39
Nobody cries cultural appropriation when American and Japanese tourists wear 'traditional', (George IV, Sir Walter Scott, Victorians), Scottish tartans, in itself cultural appropriation of the original regional dress.
Or when people get dressed up and get traditionally pissed in Oirish themed pubs on St Patrick's day.
I think we've established that someone can cry 'cultural appropriation' about pretty much anything, so I don't agree that 'nobody' makes that kind of call. Having said that, I've always thought people who dress up as a Leprechaun and go out on St Patrick's day to drink Green Guinness when their only affiliation with Ireland is a yearly Flight on Ryanair* are, well, I won't say on the forum. My Wife thinks the same and both her Parents were Irish.
*other Irish Airlines are available
 

Targa

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#40
Yes. while the people to whom the culture belongs quite rightly object, I used the term 'nobody' rather loosely referring to the nobodies who think they are somebodies, such as SJWs, the self righteous, the chattering classes, the twitter fascists.
 
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