Skip to main content

TR Memescape

  • I think the biggest problem with TR is that a lot of you dont know how to surrender graciously when youre beat.

Topic: Cultural appropriation (Read 1015 times) previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #75
To identify yourself as white and Christian is also to associate yourself with cultural conservativism and to more or less conform to cultural expectations. Adopting symbols of other religious traditions is sort of a way for white Christians to present themselves as being anti-conformist and to associate with a religious tradition without the associated cultural significance of oppression and social conservativism that comes with Christianity. In many cases, the specifics of the other religious tradition are not particularly interesting to them so much as that it is (1) a religious tradition and (2) that it doesn't have the associated baggage of christianity.

Yes. Christians, and most people raised with Christian culture aren't going to be able to easily divest themselves of that baggage - it's well attached. How do you escape something driven into your psyche from birth?

I watch local Mi'qmaq people trying to hang on to their culture and language and revive their spiritual roots, and in the middle of every community there's this great blaring white Catholic church building doing violence to every tradition by its very presence. There's no real way of reconciling the two strands of experience, but most of the people try, they've been living with it for many generations now.

really the best way to address that is to acknowledge these problems directly and make steps towards reconciliation.  For people to say "well, I want no part in that history, now I'm going to hide behind a fake commercialized pseudo-indigenous spirituality" is not the way to address these problems. Dismantling the cultural power and cultural conservativism of christianity, and empowering the actual adherents of those minority religions is the best way to address these issues in the long term.

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #76
Cultural appropriation seems like a way to throw an insignificant bone to marginalized people. The problems are systemic.

Allowing marginalized people veto power over the commercialization of their cultural aesthetics, or at least giving their concerns some consideration, seem less like an insignificant bone and more like an actual serious challenge to some of capitalism's deepest assumptions, but whatever.
Commercialization is its own issue.  And then you have a problem of drawing lines. But, meh there's plenty of outrage out there to go around.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #77
Cultural appropriation seems like a way to throw an insignificant bone to marginalized people. The problems are systemic.

I'm not sure it's all that insignificant. While it may have little effect on the dominant culture, it offers language minorities can use to at least talk to the dominant culture about their grievances and possibly be understood, if not accommodated. Whereas before it wasn't even easy to explain to white people why imitation and wholesale cultural theft wasn't flattering or no big deal.

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #78
Being understood but not accommodated is what I was thinking about as an insignificant bone. You can't get "white people" to act as a singular entity and legal recourse is at best unlikely to be more than a slight change in copyright rules which will be aimed at giving Disney more reach and at worst thought policing.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #79
To identify yourself as white and Christian is also to associate yourself with cultural conservativism and to more or less conform to cultural expectations. Adopting symbols of other religious traditions is sort of a way for white Christians to present themselves as being anti-conformist and to associate with a religious tradition without the associated cultural significance of oppression and social conservativism that comes with Christianity. In many cases, the specifics of the other religious tradition are not particularly interesting to them so much as that it is (1) a religious tradition and (2) that it doesn't have the associated baggage of christianity.

Yes. Christians, and most people raised with Christian culture aren't going to be able to easily divest themselves of that baggage - it's well attached. How do you escape something driven into your psyche from birth?

I watch local Mi'qmaq people trying to hang on to their culture and language and revive their spiritual roots, and in the middle of every community there's this great blaring white Catholic church building doing violence to every tradition by its very presence. There's no real way of reconciling the two strands of experience, but most of the people try, they've been living with it for many generations now.

really the best way to address that is to acknowledge these problems directly and make steps towards reconciliation.  For people to say "well, I want no part in that history, now I'm going to hide behind a fake commercialized pseudo-indigenous spirituality" is not the way to address these problems. Dismantling the cultural power and cultural conservativism of christianity, and empowering the actual adherents of those minority religions is the best way to address these issues in the long term.

Of course, pretense and denial is useless and insulting.

"Dismantling the cultural power and cultural conservativism of Christianity" is a large order. Churches are closing here faster than Tim Horton's are opening, so there's that, but the cultural debris and conservatism and racism isn't going to dissipate anywhere near as fast.

Most of my experience is, of course, in Nova Scotia and particularly in Cape Breton, and the white culture here has itself experienced a long history of poverty and prejudice, not really comparable with that experienced by the Mi'qmaq, but resulting in a stupid kind of jealousy over perceived FN 'advantages'. I think there's less of that now, and more effort to address grievances and recognise and appreciate Mi'qmaq presence overall, but holy shit there are still some raving racists among the white responses. (Looking at you, 'Proud Boys' - some of those 'alt-right' assholes, nursed by the Canadian military, showed up at the Cornwallis statue demonstration last year. ).


  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #80
Being understood but not accommodated is what I was thinking about as an insignificant bone. You can't get "white people" to act as a singular entity and legal recourse is at best unlikely to be more than a slight change in copyright rules which will be aimed at giving Disney more reach and at worst thought policing.

Well I'm glad you feel positive about reconciliation.  :stareicide:

I never mentioned 'legal recourse', unless you're counting the Nakota statement I posted, which wasn't about legal recourse, but about respect.

Did you make and sell a lot of dream catchers at one point or something? because I don't agree with your 'thought policing' response. We can't undo what's been done. But if we can't find inspiration, creative or otherwise, without imitation, that's kind of sad.

You've at least implied that your grandfather is FN, and that you had some cultural participation when you were young, and that you chose to walk away from it. Which is fine, you no doubt had reasons. That's your life, your experience.

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #81
Being understood but not accommodated is what I was thinking about as an insignificant bone. You can't get "white people" to act as a singular entity and legal recourse is at best unlikely to be more than a slight change in copyright rules which will be aimed at giving Disney more reach and at worst thought policing.

Well I'm glad you feel positive about reconciliation.  :stareicide:

I never mentioned 'legal recourse', unless you're counting the Nakota statement I posted, which wasn't about legal recourse, but about respect.

Did you make and sell a lot of dream catchers at one point or something? because I don't agree with your 'thought policing' response. We can't undo what's been done. But if we can't find inspiration, creative or otherwise, without imitation, that's kind of sad.

You've at least implied that your grandfather is FN, and that you had some cultural participation when you were young, and that you chose to walk away from it. Which is fine, you no doubt had reasons. That's your life, your experience.
Lol. I had a dreamcatcher in my bedroom when I was a kid. I think I got my basic approach to spirituality from those days in as much as the great spirit made a lot more sense than the xian god. Or what at the time was called the web of life more often but was used interchangeably with great spirit. But no. I never sold cultural symbols unless you count t shirts with corporate sponsorships.

I do think imitation is a substantial part of the creative process though and do not feel constrained by what is or is not imitateable. That said, imitation as inspiration and imitation as substitute for inspiration are different things and I have no real interest in the latter but cannot imagine a good alternative to the former. I do not think it exists. Also, I don't see myself as having walked away from anything. I walk my own path and if has led where it has led. My cultural attachments are few but my cultural influences are many. FWIW, my mom took my kids to powwow too and 2 of them were blond and the youngest looks like pocahontas. Guess which one liked going the most?
As an adult, I can say that once you are a generation removed, it really isn't the same thing anymore. I  couldn't relate in small ways which I see now were large in many ways.

All that is pretty tangential though. I guess I have less overall respect/concern for the trappings of culture than I do for its substance. And that part can't really be appropriated.

The world is bigger than culture and allowing culture to define it is something that, while unavoidable, is helpful to do mindfully so as to avoid using truths to obscure experience.

I have incorporated a healthy dose of plateau tribe philosophy along with a fair bit of zen and Taoism and scrambled it up with a mix of Ken Kelsey, Joseph Heller and kurt Vonnegut influence, and am quite pleased with the results.  If someone is offended about any of my personal philosophy or spirituality which I might have appropriated, well, they can choose to be unhappy if they want to. If my art has an influence someone can identify and that bothers anyone, same. But if I were to make a statement denigrating or to exploit a cultural group, I would be quick to change the situation. However,  I am unwilling to grant the authority of judgment to an outside source.

Reparations are an entirely different issue, btw and have pretty much nothing to do with cultural appropriation. And that I think is where the issue I have with sjw's on this particular bandwagon centers. Reparations are basically tort claims for historical harms that weighted the system after the harm and reparations are a way of rebalancing.
Love is like a magic penny
 if you hold it tight you won't have any
if you give it away you'll have so many
they'll be rolling all over the floor


Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #83
very fair


Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #85
christ ice is hot garbage

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #86
We do need culture and jokes and people that take the edge off the whole world, and that didn't really exist until recently. The left used to be very humorless and scolding.

He nails it

Re: Cultural appropriation
Reply #87
Cultural appropriation is wack yo.