Words of the week: ‘Cultural appropriation’

Guest Post:

By?John Black?from?rightminds.nz

From my trusty Cambridge: “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.”

The Wankers have been?throwing this one around a lot recently.

A few weeks back there was the Twitter storm over a (white) U.S high school girl?wearing a Chinese dress to her prom, and closer to home, a woman?s decision to get some chin ink (a “moko”) without passing the rigorous “are you a Maori”?test first. It comes up every Halloween too when the Wankers view anyone dressing up as a Ninja or wearing a sombrero as perpetrators of sartorial hate crimes. Unless their first name is “Haruki”?or “Juan”?that is.

For me the phrase ?that?s cultural appropriation? makes me want to appropriate a taiaha and spear the speaker through the throat with it.

I?m sorry, that was inappropriate.

But the stupidity of this one really grinds my gears.

The modern world is a product of cultural appropriation. Lovely, lovely Capitalism that gives us Nike shoes,?Gucci handbags, and Twitter?(where we can gang up on the cultural appropriators) has cultural appropriation as one of its foundations. What else would you call international trade? We get porcelain chopsticks, they get greenstone Tikis. They wear the Tikis upside down and we use the chopsticks to clean out our ears, but who cares? Everyone?s happy. Except for the wankers that is.

The idea that any sharing of cultural “treasures”?without asking (grovelling) first, really annoys me as a freedom-loving, pro-capitalist kinda guy but it also confuses me. Isn?t multi-culturalism, the idyllic wet dream of the Left, a paradise for your cultural appropriator? Isn?t it part of the wonderful cultural enrichment that mass immigration is meant to bring? What about the Greenies with their hummus,?yoga, and Native American dream catchers? Aren?t they the worst cultural appropriators of all?

But no, that?s different, isn?t it? They do it with respect. It?s all about context.

And so it is.

Stripping naked, donning a nappy, liberally applying tanning oil, and knocking on your Indian neighbour?s door on Gandhi?s birthday, is to be frowned on.

But we don?t need Wankers or their special words to tell us this. It?s covered by good taste, manners, and public decency laws.

Culture itself is hard to define and it’s a nightmare to decide just which aspects of it do and do not belong. Say we made non-Indians pay royalties every time they used the Kamasutra:?who would get the cash? (Boy – If I had to pay a dollar every time I used it, I?d be out?a dollar. Hey, I get nosebleeds.)

So, what?s behind this particular Lefty obsession? The answer is the original sin of the Left, an inability to see beyond group identity. To them using someone else?s culture is a grievous attack on their person because person and group are one and the same.

They?re not alone in this.

The KKK and the idiots at Stormfront have the same dream. A world split into monochrome corners where we all stay put.

Well, screw that. I say wear that samurai outfit to work, do your gardening in a lavalava, and pukana at?random strangers if you?re feeling it. And to minorities who may find it offensive, how about seeing it as an opportunity to let your cultural flag fly? When some boozed up Pakeha attempts a Haka after an All Blacks win, don?t get shitty, just show him how it?s done.

And don?t blame him for borrowing your moves: have you ever seen Morris dancing?

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