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  #41  
Old 11 March 2014, 11:07 PM
BrokenBiscuit BrokenBiscuit is offline
 
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Re progress, society etc: Yeah, fair enough. But you can understand that it provokes a reaction in people and why they feel that way. I'm not saying that you should necessarily even let that stop you from doing things that you as an individual enjoy, but it's understandable that people have a reaction.

It's not just regional culture. It's awkward as hell when privileged middle class people dress up like gangsters or hillbillies or whatever, but not when someone dresses up in a top hat and monocle because it's a lot easier to accidentally humiliate someone who's perceived a socially less acceptable than you.

Btw, I've dressed up in head dresses etc - I'm a bit miffed I've ended up on the PC side of this for saying that it's understandable people are upset by it.
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  #42  
Old 12 March 2014, 12:00 AM
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If you dress up in a top hat and monocle you are dressing up as what culture? Mr Peanut?

I don't think gangster is necessarily a culture, nor is being a gangster and being middle class mutually exclusive.
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  #43  
Old 12 March 2014, 01:08 AM
BrokenBiscuit BrokenBiscuit is offline
 
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Yeah, it's a fine sight to see the top-hatted tribe riding their irons, dogs and little cars in their war monocles.

In all seriousness yeah I'm running my mouth and the specific examples I'm using aren't great but I don't think what I'm saying is that controversial- when people in a position of perceived privilege mimic aspects of a group perceived to be marginalised it can make people uncomfortable and that's understandable. People will make their own judgements about where to stop which will hopefully be somewhere shy of blackface.
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  #44  
Old 12 March 2014, 01:23 AM
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If Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me can be believed, monocles have become trendy now among some hipsters.
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  #45  
Old 12 March 2014, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
If Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me can be believed, monocles have become trendy now among some hipsters.
I haven't observed that particular item, personally, but I suppose it would fit with a hipster handlebar mustache.
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  #46  
Old 12 March 2014, 02:28 AM
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I get what you're saying, BrokenBiscuit. And yes, a monocle and top hat ensemble seems more like a Mr. Peanut costume than something that represents a culture, but that's probably what I'd pick if I were trying to dress as an old-money wealthy white person. Perhaps we're less inclined to think of that as a culture because it's not so far from our own, compared to a culture that involves people of a different race who speak a different language, but it's a culture nonetheless. I'd be depicting the country-club-and-horsey set about as accurately as all those horrible, racist college kids depicted black people by wearing basketball jerseys and dreadlocks to MLK-themed parties where shots were served in watermelon cups (yes, really--Google it), but my costume would be less offensive because I'd be punching up.

I disagree with the idea that there's no difference between white people borrowing from other cultures and people of color participating in white culture, for the same reason the N-word is more offensive than any slur that means "white person." "Borrowing" from a culture your people have conquered and/or subjugated can, if done disrespectfully, tap into and reinforce systemic racism, and it's not necessarily inoffensive just because it's "how civilization has always worked." After all, enslaving the conquered people, along with raping and pillaging, were also among the usual orders of business in such conquests. That's why I think the litmus test has to be "does it cause harm to the people whose culture is being appropriated?" rather than "is this something we've always done?" or "is this similar to something other people do?"
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  #47  
Old 12 March 2014, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
That's why I think the litmus test has to be "does it cause harm to the people whose culture is being appropriated?" rather than "is this something we've always done?" or "is this similar to something other people do?"
I think if your goal is to introduce cultural stagnation and stasis and disrupt hundreds of thousands of years of cultural evolution in order to preserve the fleeting cultural boundaries of the present moment for all time, then you need a much stronger argument than someone's vague disapproval of someone else appreciating their culture. Once you come up with an idea, you don't own that idea for all time. You don't get to patent your food or your music or your clothing or art and ensure that only the people you consider sufficiently similar to yourself ever to get enjoy those things. You get to enjoy those things as much as you like, but other people emulating that culture does nothing to detract from you, and if you are bothered by it it's your problem, not theirs. Not only has culture never worked that way, but it should never work that way, because the harm would be far greater and longer lasting than the minor annoyances you're trying to address.
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  #48  
Old 12 March 2014, 02:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
If Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me can be believed, monocles have become trendy now among some hipsters.
One Part Mr. Peanut, One Part Hipster Chic

I've seen several guys wearing monocles lately.
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  #49  
Old 12 March 2014, 02:56 AM
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Yes, Errata, that's exactly what I said. Please re-read my post, once more with feeling. Hell, just read the part you quoted.
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  #50  
Old 12 March 2014, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Yes, Errata, that's exactly what I said. Please re-read my post, once more with feeling. Hell, just read the part you quoted.
Cultural stagnation is what you're accepting when you are willing to concede that "cultural appropriation" of things as innocuous as dance styles can "harm the people whose culture is being appropriated" sufficiently that we shouldn't tolerate it. It's a dangerous philosophy that runs contrary to the very nature of culture.
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  #51  
Old 12 March 2014, 03:09 AM
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Still not what I said. Try harder.
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  #52  
Old 12 March 2014, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
Isn't Raqs Sharqi itself a blend of Roma dance styles and western music? One could argue that Raqs Sharqi itself is an appropriation of Roma culture. And it's not that old. Raqs Sharqi was borrowed by the West almost as soon as it started getting established.

Or I might just go all the way and become the Everything-originated-in-India uncle, but I won't because all art is influenced by something else, and for one culture to lay claim to an art form is to stifle that art form

I am still peeved by the western usage of the words "Karma" and "Avatar", though.
I think you're on to something here, MJ. The author assumes that Americans are stealing from Egyptian culture, but the Roma have been immigrating to America since the 1600s, and they are the ones who introduced this art form to Americans (along with the circus). In fact, a great many people in your neck of the woods could probably claim to have some Roma ancestors, since many of the Roma settled in Appalachia and the South-Eastern states, where they are still part of the subculture of the area. So if I feel the need to learn to belly dance (very unlikely, because I have two left feet) then I could at least claim I came by it naturally.

Sorry about the whole Karma thing, though. I'll try to watch it from now on.
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  #53  
Old 12 March 2014, 10:08 AM
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I like the aesthetic of the fusion of Belly Dance and Morris. I guess because usually Morris is a focus on footwork and sometimes what the dancers are holding and it's interesting to have the focus on something else but in time with the same music. I first saw it last year and discovered it's a thing and a number of people do it.


(If anybody watches that and is surprised by the people with blackened faces please note that there are a lot of folk traditions in this country, like dance and mummering, that involve what's called 'blacking up' and it isn't blackface. It has a different origin, though nobody knows exactly what the origin is. Some people green up instead, it depends on their team's costume.)

I have no idea how this originated but it seems a lot of women in the teams are introduced to both types of dance through this, that they were a dancer of one or the other before.
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  #54  
Old 12 March 2014, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twankydillo View Post
(If anybody watches that and is surprised by the people with blackened faces please note that there are a lot of folk traditions in this country, like dance and mummering, that involve what's called 'blacking up' and it isn't blackface. It has a different origin, though nobody knows exactly what the origin is. Some people green up instead, it depends on their team's costume.)
Isn't there supposed to have been a pre-Celtic native population of Britain that were fairly dark, and were known as something along the lines of the 'the little dark ones'. Even if there are no descendants of that population, there might be a cultural memory of their presence.
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  #55  
Old 12 March 2014, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
We'd better hope you're Native Hawaiian then. Based on your surname, I might have suggested Morris dance, however there is speculation that it may have been 15th century cultural appropriation from the Moors.
Hawai'i is part of the United States, so therefore hulu dancing is part of my culture. My arbitrary definition of what is my culture is just as valid as anyone else's.
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  #56  
Old 12 March 2014, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Hawai'i is part of the United States, so therefore hulu dancing is part of my culture. My arbitrary definition of what is my culture is just as valid as anyone else's.
Pssst, it's hula dancing.
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  #57  
Old 12 March 2014, 10:39 PM
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Not if you are watching it on a TV show on your iPad.
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  #58  
Old 12 March 2014, 10:45 PM
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Someone better tell Yo Yo Ma to put down the cello - that's a white, European thing.

Better yet, don't! He does it proud, and we are enriched for his sharing his work with us.
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  #59  
Old 12 March 2014, 10:56 PM
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Not only is he playing a European instrument, he often does it in a tuxedo or suit, which I believe is European ceremonial costume.
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  #60  
Old 12 March 2014, 11:40 PM
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Neener, Neener

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Not only is he playing a European instrument, he often does it in a tuxedo or suit, which I believe is European ceremonial costume.
Oh, wait, the tuxedo was devised in Tuxedo Park, NY, so it is Native American regalia.
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