April 30, 2018

APPROPRIATING GRIEVANCE CULTURE (profanity alert):

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION: THE ULTIMATE FIRST WORLD PROBLEM (NAOMI FIRSHT, 30 APRIL 2018, SPIKED)

Cultural influences are often absorbed unconsciously. So if the aim of cultural-appropriation accusers is an end to cultural appropriation in music, then they would have to limit people to listening to music of their own cultural heritage. How awful.

Which is why music is one of the best arguments for 'cultural appropriation'. We would never have had rock'n'roll greats like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones without the African-American musicians who came before them. The Rolling Stones have often cited Chuck Berry as one of their key influences.

Further back, in the classical-music world, composers from different cultures and countries constantly borrowed from each other to create masterpieces. French composer Debussy was inspired by Javanese gamelan music, and its influence can be heard in his piano compositions. Czech composer Dvorak's 'From the New World' symphony was not only about America -- it was also influenced by African-American spirituals.

Let's be honest, those who cry 'cultural appropriation' are merely whingers with too much time on their hands. Not only is this a non-problem, it is also an inherently First World, middle-class problem.  [...]

One of the greatest things about culture is its unifying power. One group borrowing cultural aspects of another is a sign of a diverse society that is proud and admiring of its many influences. As an Ashkenazi (of Eastern Europe descent) Jew, I take immense pleasure in hearing Yiddish words (the language of my grandparents and great-grandparents) being used so liberally in the US. You'd be hard pressed to find a New Yorker who doesn't know words like schmuck, bubbe and chutzpah. And the liberal littering of Yiddish phrases in Hollywood films always makes me smile. It breathes new life into an old language.

The rage against cultural appropriation sucks the fun out of culture, and, even worse, encourages a new kind of segregation.



Posted by at April 30, 2018 3:39 AM

  

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