Author Topic: some thoughts on cultural appropriation  (Read 90482 times)

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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #210 on: April 07, 2017, 07:00:55 PM »
Im not being sarcastic when I say that I can only see that being a problem if the person has similar musical training to yourself.
The term is either alien to everyone Ive ever met or immediately recognisable as the issue we are discussing here.
Ymmv of course but I just have not found it to be a problem.

It's definitely a problem with folks who are not in-the-know regarding social issues. Anecdotally, I have a lot of conservative friends and family, and they take "cultural appropriation" at its broader dictionary definition.

I'm not just being pedantic here--I'm making an argument in favor of clearer communication, to the benefit of folks who don't already have a grasp of the current social issue of cultural appropriation.

Like I said, it's fine if you're just using it as shorthand when talking to other folks who probably already agree with you--but to those arguing that the effect of CA is by definition negative, I think you're harming your ability to communicate with folks who are outside social justice circles.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #211 on: April 07, 2017, 07:03:58 PM »
I notice that this is an important thing to you in many of these conversations, you seem to enjoy focusing on how a particular thing should be communicated over the thing itself.
Thats cool. Its just not for me.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #212 on: April 07, 2017, 07:08:51 PM »
I notice that this is an important thing to you in many of these conversations, you seem to enjoy focusing on how a particular thing should be communicated ...

Yes, I value communication, and do think differences and disagreements in communication are worthy of conversation.

Quote
... over the thing itself.

What do you mean?
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #213 on: April 07, 2017, 07:15:56 PM »
I notice that this is an important thing to you in many of these conversations, you seem to enjoy focusing on how a particular thing should be communicated ...

Yes, I value communication, and do think differences and disagreements in communication are worthy of conversation.

Quote
... over the thing itself.

What do you mean?
What I mean is just that you have mainly focused on the definition rather than engaging with the topics raised.

Im not criticising you, Im just saying that I personally dont want to have that conversation, Im sure others will gladly take you up on it.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #214 on: April 07, 2017, 07:29:50 PM »
What I mean is just that you have mainly focused on the definition rather than engaging with the topics raised.

Im not criticising you, Im just saying that I personally dont want to have that conversation, Im sure others will gladly take you up on it.

So... you just wanted to let me know that you don't want to talk about the things I'm talking about? I'm confused.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #215 on: April 07, 2017, 07:33:00 PM »
What I mean is just that you have mainly focused on the definition rather than engaging with the topics raised.

Im not criticising you, Im just saying that I personally dont want to have that conversation, Im sure others will gladly take you up on it.

So... you just wanted to let me know that you don't want to talk about the things I'm talking about? I'm confused.
Im trying to be polite.

You clarified what it is specifically you want to discuss. Thats not a thing Im interested in discussing.

Sorry for the confusion.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #216 on: April 07, 2017, 07:35:38 PM »
Are you asking me to not engage you?

Or letting me know you'll not respond if I try to?

Or just commenting that in general the topic does not interest you?
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #217 on: April 07, 2017, 07:37:45 PM »
Sorry to blackknight for you here Harry (or whatever it's called when one white guy sticks up for another white guy) but dude is just trying to be polite and you're sealioning him. I'm pretty sure that what he would say if he were not so nice is, "you're arguing semantics and I'm not interested in arguing semantics. Do you want to argue the meat of the topic or do you want to play word games some more?".
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #218 on: April 07, 2017, 07:41:24 PM »
Sorry to blackknight for you here Harry (or whatever it's called when one white guy sticks up for another white guy) but dude is just trying to be polite and you're sealioning him. I'm pretty sure that what he would say if he were not so nice is, "you're arguing semantics and I'm not interested in arguing semantics. Do you want to argue the meat of the topic or do you want to play word games some more?".

That's funny, because like two posts up I explained how and why I wasn't making a point based on semantics so much as communication with folks outside the social justice circles. Dismissing my ideas as pure semantics is not fair to me. If you end up swayed by my argument, cool... no biggie... just tell me that while you understand the point I'm making you simply don't agree with it and we'll move on. But to act like I'm speaking nonsense and hand-wave away my thoughts is a pretty dick move.

And I'm very happy to discuss any topic you or he would like--please feel free at any time to engage me in your preferred topics.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #219 on: April 07, 2017, 07:45:42 PM »
DI,
There no hidden meaning. Engage away. I will of course respond to you!
I just dont want to have THIS conversation. I wanted to give you the courtesy of saying so instead of just dropping off from it.

Offline D4M10N

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #220 on: April 07, 2017, 07:54:38 PM »
The appropriation vs. exchange discussion is inherently a question of semantics and morality, since the dichotomy is intended to sort specific borrowings into immoral or moral categories. At least, AFAIK.

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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #221 on: April 07, 2017, 07:55:11 PM »
DI,
There no hidden meaning. Engage away. I will of course respond to you!
I just dont want to have THIS conversation. I wanted to give you the courtesy of saying so instead of just dropping off from it.

No worries! And sorry if you feel like I was distracting from a more important topic. Fire away on that one, I'll happily read along or (god forbid) join in.
Strange women lying in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.

Offline nameofthewave

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #222 on: April 08, 2017, 03:54:00 AM »
I do get where the concept of cultural appropriation is coming from. What troubles me are two aspects of it:

a) that a group of people can 'own' some aspect of culture - which, when you boil it down, is just something that people do, or the way they behave, or dress, or some other custom.
b) that merely imitating, copying or borrowing a behaviour of a 'minority' culture even *without* the intention to offend, is still offensive especially if no due consideration is given to history or backstory behind that behaviour.

To illustrate what is bugging me about this, I could give the example of the Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang.



There are people who say that Lang Lang can never really be considered a 'great' classical pianist. Why? Primarily because of his Chinese background. Now I *know* that people will say, well, the Western tradition of classical music is part of the dominant culture, and that part of the definition of cultural appropriation is that it must be a subservient culture that is borrowed from, and the dominant culture is fair game. For the sake of argument I'll reluctantly accept this, ignoring the problems of establishing exactly what is a 'dominant' culture and how complicated trying to work this out when you move your focus outside North America. It kind of addresses b).

But the problem still lies with a). And I've heard the following arguments about Lang Lang:

- Classical music primarily a Western tradition. Lang Lang was born and raised in China, a country which does not have the same classical music traditions as Western countries. Therefore Lang Lang can be considered a very good imitator, and a technically very good pianist, but cannot be considered one of the greats because of his background, and there is nothing he can do to change this.

- Lang Lang is a traitor to his own culture. He should have put his considerable musical talents into learning Chinese classical music and bringing this music to the world stage.

I find both these arguments highly offensive, but the idea of a group of people 'owning' a culture seems to me to add some kind of weight to them, and bothers me a lot.



 

Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #223 on: April 08, 2017, 05:34:43 AM »
Agreed.  The idea that cultural can be owned makes me very uneasy as well.  Someone earlier said that when you steal you deprive someone of ownership.  Sorry, but IMHO culture is not a finite resource.   I also disagree that cultures are coherent entities with solid boundaries.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 07:37:35 AM by NEKSkeptic »

Offline Harry Black

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Re: some thoughts on cultural appropriation
« Reply #224 on: April 08, 2017, 09:21:12 AM »
You say that you get where its coming from but that this one bizarre example invalidates all examples?
I....dont think you get where its coming from.

 

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