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Are Corporations Destroying Culture? Are They Preventing Us From Developing A Refined Culture?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Joij21, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    There's to me three bad layers of appropriation:

    1. Insult. Pretty self-explanatory: you turn their symbols into mockery.
    2. Deliberate/Neglectful Misrepresentation. You use their symbols as something they are not while appearing to be authentic and create a false perception of that culture in the audience's mind. Often this is how symbols end up becoming the cliche and caricatures of point 1. Might as well nip that in the bud.
    3. Economic profiteering. A more socially or economically powerful person or group turn the symbols and culture of a historically disadvantaged group into a key part of a moneymaking industry while the disadvantaged group get nothing from it. Aside any morsl argument, this is simply a matter of giving those people better access to resources to develop their held-back economy. If their culture is valuable, let them get value for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  2. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Sharing cultural practices isn't appropriation. It's sharing. Though I notice that some people who screech and rant about 'MAI CULTURE' don't appear to notice that they do it to others. There was a news article some time back about how some native artists literally stole the image of Baby Yoda (copyright/IP theft) and incorporated it into some of their designs, that they then sold for profit. Yet if they saw the few items of Southwest Pueblo designs I still have in my craft inventory from back when I used to sell at craft fairs, they'd scream to the sky that I was "appropriating" their culture (even though Navajo/Hopi designs aren't remotely the same as Inuit/Northwest Coast designs and I'm not some corporation that can outsource and make millions off this).

    Oh, good grief. Some years back, an NDP politician was shamed and harassed for cultural appropriation because she wore an outfit to a party that she'd bought in China. The accuser was oblivious to the fact that the Chinese woman who sold the garment to a white Canadian woman didn't seem concerned enough to tell her, "Give me your money but don't wear this because you're white" and proceeded to make a huge fuss about it. The amount of crying and groveling that went on was sickening - it should never have happened.
     
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  3. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

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    That's sort of irks me with the SJWs in the past decade since all I have ever heard were screeching and rantings about "yOu'Re CuLtUrAlY ApPrOpRiAtInG" a certain piece of art or article of clothing.

    I recall there was a huge uproar when on the news a few years back when a teenage high schooler wore a Chinese dress to her prom. I thought the negative reaction was unneeded because it was just a damn dress that the teenage girl liked and wanted to wear. I was glad to hear that there were rational voices, especially from Chinese and Chinese-Americans showing appreciation for the girl. Zhou Yijun, A cultural commentator from Hong Kong said "It's ridiculous to criticize this as cultural appropriation, From the perspective of a Chinese person, if a foreign woman wears a qipao, and she looks pretty, then why shouldn't she wear it?". Here's full the article if you're interested.

    On one hand I can understand if it's a bindi or a rosary being worn as a fashion statement instead of their original use as religious symbols and instruments (I'd get miffed if someone wore a rosary as a fashion statement, but I'm not going to go out of my way to cancel said person).
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  4. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Stop confusing the internet for real life.
     
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  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Yep. And that was a good point made about Christmas and Halloween in the article, too. They're celebrated in many countries, including those who see them not as having any religious significance, but just another reason to have a party and indulge in festive foods and entertainments.

    As for a rosary... I had to make one as a theatre prop one year, when we did "The Sound of Music" (lots of nuns in that show). I might still have it stashed away with the other mementoes of that time (1982, I think). It was very plain, not at all fancy. I guess it doesn't count as appropriation, per se, since it was never actually used by anyone who was praying or in a real church, and after the show closed, it was never used for anything at all.
     
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  6. stinkubus

    stinkubus Emperor

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    "Clothing" in the form of costuming or ceremonial dress almost always comes off in poor taste, it's not really appropriation so much as boorish manners. As leftist I agree too much is made politically of these matters, but cultural appropriation is real and it usually involves making money by ripping off someone else's art and passing it off as your own with that someone else of course being from another culture.

    Led Zeppelin made a name for themselves ripping off blues standards and passing them off as their own songs to unknowing white audiences. Sergio Leone made him self a demigod in the film industry by doing hatchet job frame-for-frame reshoots of films already published by Akira Kurosawa. Scorcese (and this is coming from someone who LOVES his work) won four Oscars for remaking Internal Affairs.

     
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  7. amadeus

    amadeus Civ2 / Law and Order!

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    What is culture?

    Maybe I don't even know.
    Do you?
    Can you?
     
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  8. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Points for artistry. I'm not sure what the bottom three lines mean, though.
     
  9. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Only Americans could think that there isn't an identifiable American culture.
     
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  10. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy CheeseBob

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    I could be mistaken, but 10 years ago I thought the conversation on this forum was several members (largely Europeans) were lecturing Americans for having no culture, now its 'only Americans' would say Americans have no culture?
     
  11. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I believe it was discussed on these forums, but "we found someone from Hong Kong who thinks it isn't a huge deal" doesn't, in fact, mean it wasn't a deal of some sort. What we have here is a classic case of people not agree over what constitutes cultural appropriation, and a conservative-leaning outlet doing some rather questionable phrasing on the amount of people claiming it's a positive thing.

    This doesn't mean that you can't think it isn't cultural appropriation, but calling one side of the debate "rational" implies the other side isn't, which betrays no small amount of bias that you should probably account for when hyping up "rational" behaviour.

    Certainly, it's a very different dynamic from corporate dominance in US (and international) cultures, but it ties into US consumerism and the exploitation of culture for profit.
     
  12. Estebonrober

    Estebonrober Deity

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    But wait, commodifying everything is like the base of our culture lmao.
     
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  13. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

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    If someone has a problem with a white girl wearing a qipao to prom, that’s racist.
     
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  14. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Allow me to give you a reply that matches the effort you put in here: :rolleyes:
     
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  15. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

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    It’s really that simple.
     
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  16. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    When I started living in London as a student, one of the most pleasant characteristics for me was that so many buildings had (ancient) greek architecture. It felt like I could relate, and not feel that I was a foreigner.
    I don't agree with this whole "cultural appropriation" taboo.
     
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  17. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Regarding the girl in Utah wearing the Asian dress: iirc, in the photos she was also doing the hands-together gesture - kind of looks like you're praying - that certainly comes across as mocking Asian women, whether she meant it that way or not (and, I mean, she was a teenager - what are the odds she didn't really know what she was doing?). The difference of opinions among people of one Asian heritage or another I suppose doesn't surprise me, either. It might also be worth pointing out that Asian-Americans aren't quite the same as Asians. They don't have all the same background and history. (Asian-Canadians, Asian-Australians and Asian-Europeans too, I'd wager.) I note in that NY Times piece that it appears to have been an Asian-American who was offended and a Chinese who thought it was no big deal, although I'm not 100% positive. I wonder how much your average Chinese knows about the history of Asians in the United States. Maybe a lot, maybe bupkes. Who knows, maybe a Chinese person who grew up in Asia, if you brought them up to speed on the history of Chinese in America, might say, "Oh. Yeah, that white girl probably shouldn't'a done that, then."

    I also think, as a White guy, I need to let people of other ethnicities decide whether it's okay for me to borrow something. And they may not all be on the same page. They might need a minute to hash it out among themselves. I remember watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for the first time, and when Mantis came onscreen, I kind of sank down into my seat and covered my head with my hands in anticipation of the [fire]storm, and then... nothing. It seemed like nobody was bothered. Maybe the fact that the actress was Asian made a difference, I dunno. I see Asian actors making fun of American stereotypes of Asians from time to time, including just this week on the show The Wilds. I figured if Asians weren't bothered, there was no reason for me to be. I am kind of bracing myself to see how Marvel/Disney portrays Shang-Chi and The Mandarin, but again, I'll wait and let people of Asian heritage tell me whether I should hide under my seat or not.
     
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  18. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I'd expect that if something is objectively offensive, you wouldn't even need to check with the representatives of that "culture" in the first place. But wearing an oriental dress doesn't seem to be objectively offensive - usually people wear clothes because they like them :dunno:

    In old carnival days here I recall that a couple of students would always dress up as indians, and the headgear was the coolest. Some dressed as cowboys, others as zoro (I won't even share what I tried to cosplay as when I was 8) :)

    Also:

    In practice this taboo has the opposite effect: if people can't use parts of the other culture like they do with their "own", they won't bother using them, so if it was about the "culture having value", surprise surprise, the value diminishes with the ban.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  19. NovaKart

    NovaKart شێری گەورە

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    This amounts to saying people are automatically right about something because of their race. I think it’s good to consider people may have a special insight into this issue and it’s good to hear them out but at some point certain objections are just unreasonable and people should be able to say that without the - I’m white so I can’t have an opinion on this - idea.
     
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  20. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    I was going to write something about this, but I was already going too long. But since you brought it up, it's worth mentioning that it isn't all the same for everybody, and there's no reason it needs to be. As an Irish-American, I hereby give all Black and Brown dudes permission to wear a kilt as cosplay at a Comic-Con or whatever (trust me, your girl- or boyfriend will get a kick out of it :D ), and if any more Mexican girls want to cover Metallica on youtube, I am here for you. It isn't all the same.

    Offense isn't objective, but I do marvel sometimes at how obtuse some people are.

    Speaking of which, I found the picture of the girl in the prom dress. It's... um... yikes... Not only are the girls doing the faux-Asian thing with their hands, I don't even know what the guys in the back row are doing, but it's making me want to hide my White face. Was there not an adult in the room?

    Spoiler :
     
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