Tuesday, November 26, 2013

cultural drive-by

there's a lot of palaver about cultural (mis)appropriation these days. first it was miley and her twerking (i wonder why twerking wasn't the word of the year, selfie seem so three years ago, but i guess the OED is slow to move). and now katy perry is in trouble for dressing up as a geisha. i have my own local struggles with cultural misappropriation in that my little town is having a "black friday" this friday, not realizing that you can't have it without first having thanksgiving. while both are pure, unadulterated consumerism, at least we eat turkey and consciously think about what we're thankful for the day before. to have black friday without thanksgiving just seems wrong to me. it feels like they're taking on one of the worst aspects of my culture and celebrating it. it doesn't help that thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and i really miss it. black friday in denmark just feels like mockery to me.

that said, where did we think globalization would take us? these things are all products of a globalized world. katy probably thought the geisha garb was pretty and didn't think much beyond that. miley, she was just trying to shed hannah montana once and for all. and give, the local business club just wants a formal kickoff to the holiday shopping season. so they paste together some of the imagery and ideas they've seen thanks to film, television, the interwebs and the easy access to travel for the masses and they tried to make it their own. so they didn't understand the context and the signals it sends. big deal. it's something else in the new context anyway. it's only those of us who know the original context that get our feelings hurt, whether twerker, geisha or just a displaced american. 

culture is dynamic and it's constantly sucking in new influences and abandoning others. it's transformative and never stands still. and to be honest, we love that about it. but i still wish they'd introduce thanksgiving in denmark.

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"there's a special way of being boring when you're christian." - husband, 25/11.2013
(in reference to a christian radio station he accidentally listened to on his drive home)
i love that guy.

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i so gotta get husband to agree to this

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would you use your own unique bacteria to make cheese?
these famous artists did. 

1 comment:

will said...

a list.

Cheese is a poison to me and I think there’s a Dairy Mafia because it seems people/restaurants/cookbooks can’t cook without adding dairy products. Even packaged products (salami) are laced with the stuff. The Dairy Mafia has convinced the world Dairy that products are required.

American Culture (Kulture) is adaptive and always has been ... but at the core, it’s basically that of Puritanism.

Black Friday has morphed into Black November.

Katy Perry, etc. - I think all of them know exactly what they’re doing. They have marginal singing and dancing skills so they do the outrageous or offensive ... that gets them media coverage and that translates into lots of money.