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Thread: Cultural Appropriation

  1. #1
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    Cultural Appropriation

    This recent controversy gave me pause (and not for the 'squint your eyes comment)

    The Bruno Mars Cultural Appropriation Conversation Is the One We Should Be Having
    BY KIANA FITZGERALD
    MAR 13, 2018


    Image via Getty/Kevork Djansezian

    By now, youíve heard the internetís tectonic plates shifting again. This week, the fault line is Bruno Mars. On one side of the divide, you have people asserting that Bruno Mars is, as a non-black performer excelling at creating traditionally black art, a cultural appropriator. On the other sideóa side that seems much bigger todayóare Bruno supporters who believe heís done no wrong.

    Depending on how you squint your eyes, theyíre both right. This isnít a cut and dry issue, thereís a Venn Diagram here mixing up those who think itís clear-cut appropriation, those who wonder why we canít just let Bruno live, and the very tangled overlap in the middle which concedes that both camps make some good points.

    Nobody wants anyone to come for their fave, no matter how tangential. I get it. But this discussion constantly lingers in the background of our consciences like a boogeyman, drifting forward incrementally every time a non-white artist dominates in the black space (read: often). Bringing this conversation forth comes with a cost. Let the internet tell it, Bruno is being targeted by a mob of angry black haters. Seren Sensei, the outspoken writer/YouTuber/activist/artist who made her opinion of Bruno Mars explicitly clear in the viral clip shared online last week, was faced with a 7-day suspension from Twitter when Bruno Marsí stans reported her en masse in retaliation.

    hannie
    @hannahmburrell
    this is why i hate bruno mars @seren_sensei says it all

    6:45 PM - Mar 8, 2018
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    Seren Sensei is being penalized for pointing out a very real thing thatís wrong with the industry and the Recording Academy today: "The issue is we want our black culture from non-black bodies," she says in the clip. Itís hard to argue against her when you look at the history books.

    The most popular name in music associated with appropriation is Elvis Presley, a man who eventually became the King of Rock and Roll. Presley was discovered by record producer and industry visionary Sam Phillips in the mid-1950s. According to TIME, Phillips said the following just before crossing paths with Elvis: "If I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars." He may not have made a cool billion dollars off of Elvis in the end, but it was a billion-dollar idea that proved to be a winning ticket for executives that followed him. Presley sang a watered down version of black blues and it worked tremendously well commercially, providing a blueprint for popular music that weíre still seeing used now.

    IN SOME WAYS, BRUNO MARS IS THE PERFECT CASE STUDY FOR CULTURAL APPROPRIATION IN THE HERE AND NOW, SIMPLY BECAUSE HE MAKES THE CONVERSATION MORE MESSY AND COMPLICATED.

    For examples that this is still going on today, look no further than the top 10 of the current Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart. Three out of 10 slots are occupied by Post Malone, a white artist who, despite making rap music, has gone out of his way to publicly distance himself from the genreóyet here he is, present and accounted for. Another three slots are taken by NF and G-Eazy, who are also white, and 6ix9ine, who is Mexican and Puerto Rican. The latter is the most polarizing but perhaps the most culturally synonymous, as the pivotal movements aligned with hip-hopóbreak dancing, DJing, and graffitiingówere pioneered by blacks and Latinos working together in the streets of New York. (6ix9ine also uses the n-word like his life depends on it, but thatís a conversation for a whooole other day.)

    Weíve made progress, in a way: instead of a black/white conversation, weíre now being inclusive with our shade. Artists like the outwardly harmless Bruno are discovering that people of color can get this work, too. This is where things get uncomfortable. No self-respecting person of color wants to bring another POC down, but the point still stands: Bruno isnít black, but makes black-indebted music, and has profited handsomely for it. However, letís say Bruno was the exact same figure, with the exact same style and teamóbut white. He would likely have way more success (letís be real), and this cultural appropriation debate would have happened long ago. It would be tired by this point, like the current conversation is, but it would be tired because black people would have come to the conclusion that he was an offender by now. Justin Timberlake, a known... appreciator of black music, escaped the wrath of the internet just before suspicions of appropriation became a mainstream cultural concern. We all see it now: heís already being escorted out of the paint, after re-routing to pop-country land and leaving behind fans of color who loved his hip-pop/R&B.

    In some ways, Bruno Mars is the perfect case study for cultural appropriation in the here and now, simply because he makes the conversation more messy and complicated. He might be the hardest working man in show business. He pumps out music like heís running out of time. He sets every stage on fire that he ever touches and pays homage as often as he can to the music heís recreating (the man got Babyface a Grammy this year, after all). There are worse examples of cultural appropriators, but that doesnít mean he should get an automatic pass.

    The machinations that took Bruno to the top of the chartsóliterally: as I write, Bruno Mars just passed Usher for most No. 1 Billboard Radio Songs among malesóare just as real as his work ethic. Bruno is just one facet of a much larger cultural trend thatís becoming more and more obvious. When Seren Sensei says, "We want our black art from non-black bodies," it rings trueóthe examples go back for decadesóyet weíre still chasing evidence that itís even happening at all.
    Here's the Seren Sensei vid that reignited this fuss:


    Now I'm assuming Sensei Ai****emasu is hapa (mixed Asian) or for her to call out Mars is like the...pot calling the kettle black?

    Okay, that was probably the wrong way to go with this. As you all know, I tend to avoid politrix here because it really distracts from the topic on hand - MARTIAL ARTS - but I'm currently invested in some research on the influence of Kung Fu films on Hip Hop so the notion of cultural appropriation is vexing me.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
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    lol, oh man.
    Bruno Mars, a Filipino, Mexican, mixed bag of human is culturally appropriating things?
    That's hilarious. Seriously, it's things like this that make me understand the word "libtard" on some days.

    Hey, have you met our Prime Minister Dress up?
    Here's some cultural appropriation for you.

    I'm a Sikh!
    Name:  trudeau-yeesh.jpg
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    I'm Chinese!
    Name:  trudeau-chinese.jpg
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    I'm Hindu now!
    Name:  trudeau-hindu.jpg
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    Wait, no, I'm a Muslim!
    Name:  Trudeau-muslim.jpg
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    Ok, I'm a native Canadian!
    Name:  trudeau-native.jpg
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    I hear he's on his way to Ireland next....
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  3. #3
    Well, now he's got all the Toronto taxi-driversí votes.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rett2 View Post
    Well, now he's got all the Toronto taxi-driversí votes.
    he's got a couple of really good people doing really good things too.
    But sadly, he feels the need to do these weird ass things.

    You take the good, you take the bad, etc etc etc.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Here's the Seren Sensei vid that reignited this fuss:


    Now I'm assuming Sensei Ai****emasu is hapa (mixed Asian) or for her to call out Mars is like the...pot calling the kettle black?

    Okay, that was probably the wrong way to go with this. As you all know, I tend to avoid politrix here because it really distracts from the topic on hand - MARTIAL ARTS - but I'm currently invested in some research on the influence of Kung Fu films on Hip Hop so the notion of cultural appropriation is vexing me.
    That woman has zero Japanese ancestry. Apparently, she appropriated the name from some TV show. And I guess Wu Tang Clan didn't appropriate Chinese culture. Who the hell cares about the color of the artist? Are they good or not, and do you like listening to them or not? It's not as if Bruno Mars is a white man putting on blackface to perform in the way that many white actors have put on yellowface to play appropriated (or plain insulting stereotypical) Asian roles. I'm not really a hip-hop fan, so I couldn't care less about that genre, but I despise hypocrisy. The fact is, depending on how long her ancestors have been in this country, there is a BIG probability that she's more mixed (white European, and maybe some Amerindian) than she even realizes.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 03-13-2018 at 04:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post

    I hear he's on his way to Ireland next....
    Name:  Skärmavbild 2018-03-14 kl. 13.35.00.jpg
Views: 366
Size:  18.0 KB

    (sorry, couldn't help it)

  7. #7

    Barbara Kay: Cultural Appropriation is an absurd concept

    It's just another Marxist Tool used to create division and annihilation of cultural and social integrity. Actually more insidious and nefarious than absurd.



    Barbara Kay: Cultural Appropriation is an absurd concept

    he's got a couple of really good people doing really good things too.
    But sadly, he feels the need to do these weird ass things.

    You take the good, you take the bad, etc etc etc.
    He's just a modern version of Nero or Caligula: the elite partying while their minions burn civilization.
    ..
    Trudeau just follows a simple formula given to him in the Globalist memos:
    1. Destroy the old culture with Marxist Ideology and Globalist control of the propaganda by the MSN that that also got him elected.
    2 Import the replacement population that hates Western culture as much as the Marxists do and will vote liberal and achieve a one party totalitarian state.

    Easy Peasy - No thinking required, he just has to memorize ideological speeches and use them in programmed responses... and in between party like there is no tomorrow ! (there isn't).
    Last edited by wolfen; 03-14-2018 at 10:41 AM.
    "顺其自然"

  8. #8
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    Bruno Mars is just filling in the Prince slot for making gold creds now that Prince is off-stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    That woman has zero Japanese ancestry. Apparently, she appropriated the name from some TV show. And I guess Wu Tang Clan didn't appropriate Chinese culture. Who the hell cares about the color of the artist? Are they good or not, and do you like listening to them or not? It's not as if Bruno Mars is a white man putting on blackface to perform in the way that many white actors have put on yellowface to play appropriated (or plain insulting stereotypical) Asian roles. I'm not really a hip-hop fan, so I couldn't care less about that genre, but I despise hypocrisy. The fact is, depending on how long her ancestors have been in this country, there is a BIG probability that she's more mixed (white European, and maybe some Amerindian) than she even realizes.
    follow the money lol, usually these sjw types in the media are just trying to get your 5 dollar donation to their ****ty VLog on Twitch.. back in the day it would be to their crappy newsletter

    No different than local street hustlers selling ****ty dime bags at your local festival.

    Like the womans march had pro islam pink ***** hat signs marching 3 blocks away from a group of Harry Potter witches with purple green hair holding signs saying satan against trump. lmao

    as a Canadian I died. Allah has no love for the devil yet there they were sporting pink ***** hats.

    most these protestors on the right and left have good ideas but the unions behind them are anti american spreading division for 5 dollar donations when no western election can get more than 70 percent of voters to turn out. Then it`s just two sides split down the middle, the state suffers.

  10. #10

    A different kind of Cultural Appropriation filled with Love....

    Greetings,


    This following still stands up well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z3wUD3AZg4

    We need more of this.


    mickey

  11. #11

    We need more Cultural Appropriation

    Japan now celebrates Halloween better than America where the fun has been taken out of it by the Marxist attacks of "cultural appropriation".

    In fact in America, if you celebrate Halloween too much, you may be forced to commit seppuku.. well, the social equivalent.. an apology, then being fired etc...



    Halloween in Japan - Tokyo Costume Street Party

    ..
    Well that Dave Chapelle skit was really racist and lacked diversity. He didn't include Native Americans who could have picked "Pocahontas" (Warren).
    That is the problem with "Marxist Intersectionality", there is no end to the subdivisions.
    "顺其自然"

  12. #12
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    This is going to the dogs

    I had a feeling this might be the next flashpoint trend. I'm just waiting for it to hit the Kung Fu in Hip Hop...


    Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs': Is Cultural Appropriation Hollywood's Next Big Battleground?

    6:30 AM PDT 3/29/2018 by Marc Bernardin


    Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

    Who gets to make what art? And where should we draw the line between ripping off and paying homage to another culture, asks a Hollywood Reporter columnist.

    I grew up on a steady diet of Godzilla movies ó as a kid born in New York in the 1970s, my viewing habits were a constant rotation of giant monster flicks, syndicated kung fu movies, and Star Wars knock-offs. When I finally got to write my first comic book it was called Monster Attack Network and it was about, among other things, a Pacific Island paradise that was routinely beset by giant monsters. I understood the metaphor behind Godzilla and why it is so specifically Japanese ó the internalized guilt of the only country to have been subject to nuclear bombings is haunted by a monster fueled by atomic fire, one that would destroy Japanese cities over and over and over again.

    When I co-wrote that comic book in 2004, with Adam Freeman, I didnít give a second thought as to whether I should tell this story, one that has so many signifiers from a culture that wasnít my own. I just thought it was fun.

    But today, in the midst of an awakening to the artistic (and financial) merits of inclusion and representation, weíre having a much different conversation than has ever taken place between artists and audiences: Who gets to make what art?

    Wes Andersonís Isle of Dogs is wading into a world that didnít exist when he started making his stop-motion fable about a Japanese boy lost on a completely canine island. Even two years ago, when Travis Knightís Kubo and the Two Strings hit theaters, the conversation there was about whitewashing, about populating an inherently Japanese story with an overwhelmingly white voice cast. But few of the people who came for Kubo didnít take issue with the fact that the story was being told by an almost entirely non-Japanese creative team. (You have to scroll a bit on Kuboís IMDb page before you get to John Aoshima, the head of story.)

    But as traditionally marginalized audiences begin to find their collective voice, things that used to fly Ö donít. In Isle of Dogs, Anderson sets his boy-and-his-pooch story in the fictional island of Megasaki, where a nationís dogs have been exiled, left to fend for themselves. The conceit of this film is that all of the dogs speak English, and are voiced by actors like Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Liev Schreiber, Bryan Cranston and Scarlett Johansson. The overwhelming majority of the human characters are Japanese and they all speak in Japanese, which is conveyed to an English-speaking audience through subtitles or a translator or, sometimes, not translated at all.

    Cinema is an empathy-injection mechanism. It maneuvers us, emotionally, so we can care about people who donít exist, who we have never and will never meet. The issue that surfaces in Isle of Dogs is whom are we being asked to empathize with?

    We empathize with those we can understand. Literally. By placing the Japanese characters behind a wall of language, Isle of Dogs is placing its empathetic weight on the canine characters. Which are all voiced by white actors.

    So when film critics like The Los Angeles Timesí Justin Chang or culture writers like Mashableís Angie Han wonder why Isle of Dogs needed to be set in Japan at all, as it doesnít really ask us to care about Japanese people, they have a point. This is a story that couldíve been set in Iowa for all it cares about the humans. As much as it seems that Anderson does have a real fondness for Japan ó and the story is co-credited to Japanese actor Kunichi Nomura ó he treats the culture a bit like wallpaper, set behind his drama as opposed to an integral part of the drama itself.

    The question of who gets to make what art is a t***** one. Are we allowed, as artists, to tell stories that move us, or are we supposed to pass some kind of test to be allowed to tell those stories? And who is grading that test? If Iím, say, a Mexican filmmaker who loves giant robots and giant monsters, do I have to present myself to an anime gatekeeper for permission? If Iím a Scottish filmmaker who desperately wants to devote years of his life to tell a romance set in Mumbai during a run on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, can I just do it Ö and later win an Oscar for it?

    Isnít the beauty of art that it affects us profoundly and deeply, becoming a part of who we are in the world? And if thatís so, how can anyone be barred from making the art that moves them?

    Thatís an even harder nut to crack when it comes to music. The legacy of black music in America is a long one, fraught with many of the same problems that come with the legacy of black people in America. Jazz, soul, gospel, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, hip hop can all trace their origins to people of color in this country ó and all of those musical modes have become an inseparable part of the fabric of modern culture. Is it wrong for a kid who grew up listening to Motown to want to make music that sounds like Motown? Do we penalize Bruno Mars for making the music he was born in the bosom of? Do we have to go back in time to tell Dave Brubeck that jazz isnít his to play, or inform Freddie Mercury that gospel isnít to be touched, or remind every white boy that ever picked up a guitar that unless he pays restitution to Chuck Berry, weíre taking that ax away?

    No, of course not. We are the world we live in. And our world is enlivened by the culture we consume. Itís an ecosystem that must be allowed to nurture itself if itís going to continue. Telling an artist that she or he canít make art is too close to censorship for my taste.

    That said, the free pass that storytellers used to get when they decided to employ cultural signifiers as fetishized exoticism is a thing of the past. So whatís the way forward? Hell if I know. This area of study is fuzzy at best and offensive at worst. But Iím going to make two suggestions.

    First: Do the work. It would be easy to try and call out director Ryan Coogler for hiring a white guy to compose the Black Panther score. And not just any white guy, but a guy from Sweden ó the whitest of white places. But Ludwig Goransson did the work. Not only has he scored each of Cooglerís movies, but heís produced artists like Chance the Rapper and Donald Glover. And when Coogler brought him on board for Panther, he took it very seriously. "I was incredibly excited as it was a dream of mine to score a superhero movie," Goransson told THR by phone during a break from producing the new Childish Gambino album. "I also felt incredible pressure to pay homage to African culture and its traditional music. Itís not lost on me that Iím a Swedish guy from one of the coldest countries in the world."

    He spent months researching traditional African music and went to the continent itself to travel with African musicians, before recruiting some to play on the score itself. Goransson did the work and it shows.

    When Pixar makes a movie like Moana or Coco ó films rooted in very specific cultures with centuriesí worth of tradition ó they send their filmmakers on extensive research trips. Such effort both allows for accuracy and sensitivity when portraying those cultures and lets the storytellers be inspired by the very people and places theyíre dramatizing ó and incorporate that inspiration into the work.

    ďNot only is [Coco] based in a real place, in Mexico, but itís based in real traditions, so we knew it was very important to do the research, to get every detail recorded,Ē said Coco co-director Adrian Molina in the filmís press materials. ďSo that when we get back to Pixar and we start deciding what is this town going to look like, what is this grandmother going to wear, what kind of dancing and music are they going to listen to, it can all come from an informed place.Ē

    And second: Donít be a strip-miner. Donít treat culture like some kind of Vegas buffet, filling your plate with exotic flavors and setting it in front of a Caucasian protagonist to be tickled and amused by. Remember the importance of empathetic weight: Who is the story about? And if itís about a person from the culture you are drawing from, youíve already gone a long way towards achieving a fidelity of intention as well as execution.

    If I was writing Monster Attack Network today, knowing what I know about the world I live in at the moment, would I still do it? Yeah, I would. It came from a place of love. But Iíd make the hero of the tale a Pacific Islander instead of a beefy white guy. (Funnily enough, when Disney optioned the comic a little over a decade ago, they did so for Dwayne Johnson to star. They were way ahead of that particular curve.)

    But thatís just me. Maybe there are no easy answers. Maybe this is an issue we will all have to stumble blindly through until someone figures out how to turn on the light. Maybe the first step is realizing precisely how long weíve been in the dark.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #13
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    Utah teen shamed for 'racist' prom dress

    Gene Ching
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    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #14
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    That's not racist.

  15. #15

    Trudeau

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    he's got a couple of really good people doing really good things too.
    But sadly, he feels the need to do these weird ass things.

    You take the good, you take the bad, etc etc etc.
    What was the good again?

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