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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Is this music video racist?
Eliab
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I find the whole idea that there are certain forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for black people and other forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for white people to be more than a little problematic.

And that seems to be behind the whole "cultural approriation" thing. If it were straight-up copyright infringement, I'd see the objection - no one likes being ripped off - but no one has copyright in a genre.

The "authenicity" thing also strikes me as a red herring. I'm sure there are people who feign an interest in hip-hop so as to project a particular image, but I'm not convinced that enthusiasts for opera are entirely free of such a vice, either. It seems to me to be a pretty universal characteristic - a little bit pathetic, perhaps (both in the sense of being a proper object for pity and in the sense of being a proper object for scorn), but more amiable than the contrary vice of sneering at things we happen not to like. It can't be right that if I pretend to like ballet to fit in with a social group then I'm merely a twat, but if, for similar motives, I pretend to like reggae, then I'm a racist twat.

Although, having said 'authenticity' is a red herring, I'm now not so sure. If social, cultural and artistic authenticity is important, that's surely got to be an argument against making people feel defensive or ashamed about things that they happen to like. Accusations of racism made on the basis of cultural preferences do not serve the cause of authenticity.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
quote:
Marvin the Martian: Wouldn't a better solution be that all children may play with any of the toys?
The problem arises when the other children claim that they have made these toys.
Plagiarism is a bad thing. Got it. But surely that applies no matter who created the thing being plagiarised?

quote:
Or when they put these shabby toys next to their shiny ones to laugh at them.
That's only an issue if certain toys belong to certain kids. If all of the toys belong to all of the kids, then what's the problem?

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I find the whole idea that there are certain forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for black people and other forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for white people to be more than a little problematic.

I also find that problematic, but not half as problematic as the idea, promoted on this thread, that there are certain forms of cultural and recreational activities that are only appropriate for black people but no such thing as a form of cultural and recreational activity that is only appropriate for white people.

If we have to have some form of cultural apartheid (White Girls Can't Twerk, and so forth), then I don't see why it can't work both ways. Of course, I'd rather not have any form of cultural apartheid at all, but it appears to be what the anti-racist side on this thread want so it must be the right thing to do...

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I find the whole idea that there are certain forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for black people and other forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for white people to be more than a little problematic.

It is more than a little problematic. The entire race relations situation, especially in America, is fucked up (which on the other hand means that twice as much thought goes into it in America as anywhere else). If there were a healthy race relations situation in America then it would be an incredibly bad idea. And heart surgery on a healthy person is a very bad idea.

quote:
Although, having said 'authenticity' is a red herring, I'm now not so sure. If social, cultural and artistic authenticity is important, that's surely got to be an argument against making people feel defensive or ashamed about things that they happen to like. Accusations of racism made on the basis of cultural preferences do not serve the cause of authenticity.
Authenticity is a fascinating subject in art. Earlier I described Taylor Swift as the most authentic singer in pop music and I stand by that - but my current playlist is Postmodern Jukebox which is many things, but authentic is not one of them.

quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
I'm not terribly au fait with either, but why is the Swift category of Twerkers respectful but the Cyrus category disrespectful?

I already linked Miley Cyrus at the VMAs in this comment. Watch the video and get back to me.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Sorry, I'm having a really hard time trying to see twerking as some kind of sacred cultural expression that is inherently worthy of respect and may never have a bad or jesting word said about it. It's a ludicrous form of modern dance, ferchrissakes.

To me it looks a whole lot less ludicrous than interpretive dance or, worse yet, ballet.

Edit: "All the toys belong to all the kids"? I never knew you were a communist, Marvin.

[ 14. October 2014, 14:46: Message edited by: Justinian ]

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LeRoc

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quote:
Marvin the Martian: Plagiarism is a bad thing. Got it. But surely that applies no matter who created the thing being plagiarised?
It's not just plagiarised. Suppose the other kids not only take these toys, but also say: "How cool am I that I have these toys?" While the other kids made them.

quote:
Marvin the Martian: That's only an issue if certain toys belong to certain kids.
It's also an issue if certain toys were made by certain kids.

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saysay

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quote:
Originally posted by Dark Knight:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
... in many areas of the country Italians weren't considered white until relatively recently.

Whaaaat. Explain please.
Is that really a surprise? saysay can of course address your question herself, but it seems evident to me that in many predominantly white, Anglo-Saxon protestant societies, Italians were perceived as "other." In this sense, this is not strictly in reference to skin colour, but also other aspects of ethnicity, such as kinship systems and religion.
Down here, Italian catholicism tended to be marginalised by WASPs but also Irish Catholicism, as the two are quite different.

That's about it. For a long time in my part of the country Italians were known as WOPs (without papers, aka illegal immigrants even if they weren't). It probably didn't help that many Italians' coloring is such that they are visually identifiable and frequently appeared similar to light-skinned blacks who could sometimes pass for white.

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Enoch
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I'm with Lucia, Marvin and Eliab on this one. I've watched the video of Miley Cyrus. Her style of dancing is lascivious, crude and coarse rather than just suggestive. If it is being claimed that this is specifically a black form of dancing so that it's all right for a black woman to dance in a way that is lascivious, crude and coarse because what would one expect, but not for a white woman to do so, then I agree. That that argument would not just be racist. It would be very offensive indeed. But I get the very strong impression that isn't what the arguments is.

Clearly, as foreigners, we're outside the culture and don't get the point. Not everything transposes. Would it be wiser just to give up trying?

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Sorry, I'm having a really hard time trying to see twerking as some kind of sacred cultural expression that is inherently worthy of respect and may never have a bad or jesting word said about it. It's a ludicrous form of modern dance, ferchrissakes.

To me it looks a whole lot less ludicrous than interpretive dance or, worse yet, ballet.
Not relevant to the point I was making.

quote:
Edit: "All the toys belong to all the kids"? I never knew you were a communist, Marvin.
It's an analogy [Roll Eyes] .

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I'm with Lucia, Marvin and Eliab on this one. I've watched the video of Miley Cyrus. Her style of dancing is lascivious, crude and coarse rather than just suggestive. If it is being claimed that this is specifically a black form of dancing so that it's all right for a black woman to dance in a way that is lascivious, crude and coarse because what would one expect, but not for a white woman to do so, then I agree. That that argument would not just be racist. It would be very offensive indeed. But I get the very strong impression that isn't what the arguments is.

Compare the twerking on the Miley Cyrus video with that on the Taylor Swift one. Miley's is definitely derived from the same style of dance as Taylor Swift's. But her interpretation of it is ... urgh. And this combines with the fact that (as I have linked in the thread already) her song writers claim "She was like, 'I want urban, I just want something that just feels Black.'”

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
quote:
Marvin the Martian: Plagiarism is a bad thing. Got it. But surely that applies no matter who created the thing being plagiarised?
It's not just plagiarised. Suppose the other kids not only take these toys, but also say: "How cool am I that I have these toys?" While the other kids made them.
That's still claiming the kudos for someone else's work, which is still the same thing.

And of course, in the cultural context there aren't a limited number of "toys" to go round - anyone can dance a certain way, and it doesn't matter how many other people also do so, much less how much melanin they happen to have. If it's cool to twerk (which I dispute), then it's cool no matter who does it.

quote:
quote:
Marvin the Martian: That's only an issue if certain toys belong to certain kids.
It's also an issue if certain toys were made by certain kids.
Why? Does making something mean only you may use it?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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LeRoc

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quote:
Marvin the Martian: That's still claiming the kudos for someone else's work, which is still the same thing.
Not really. You can try to look cool using someone else's stuff without explicitly claiming you made it. Plagiarism isn't the right way through which to approach this. Many cultural expressions aren't copyrighted.

quote:
Marvin the Martian: Why? Does making something mean only you may use it?
Read back our discussion please. This wasn't about who can use something.

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
And of course, in the cultural context there aren't a limited number of "toys" to go round - anyone can dance a certain way, and it doesn't matter how many other people also do so, much less how much melanin they happen to have. If it's cool to twerk (which I dispute), then it's cool no matter who does it.

That depends how you do it. Twerking like Miley Cyrus is not in any way cool. In fact I'd go so far as to say that Miley Cyrus' twerking probably qualifies as a mean-spirited parody of twerking. Further there are very few things that are not cool when done by a confident expert. And no form of dance I can think of fails to be cool in the hands of an expert - including twerking.

quote:
quote:
quote:
Marvin the Martian: That's only an issue if certain toys belong to certain kids.
It's also an issue if certain toys were made by certain kids.
Why? Does making something mean only you may use it?
Like I said, you seem to be turning into a communist on this thread. Now you're coming out against intellectual property, copyright, and the patent system.

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Enoch
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Again, this may be a cultural disjunct, but I don't think here one can claim copyright in something as general as a dance style. There is copyright in a creative production but not an idea.

And going back to my earlier point, the issue with Miley Cyrus's dancing in the video isn't whether it's cool or not, nor whether it is a 'mean spirited parody' of something else, whatever that something else is. It's that it is 'lascivious, crude and coarse'. I am sure it is possible for a waltz to be lascivious, crude and coarse, but that doesn't mean it's also automatically an insult to all Austrians.

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I am sure it is possible for a waltz to be lascivious, crude and coarse, but that doesn't mean it's also automatically an insult to all Austrians.

But the waltz is lascivious and was routinely denounced as such when it came in. Have you seen how close the partners hold each other? Or how with formal style the line of the bust is amplified?

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saysay

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I'm with Lucia, Marvin and Eliab on this one. I've watched the video of Miley Cyrus. Her style of dancing is lascivious, crude and coarse rather than just suggestive. If it is being claimed that this is specifically a black form of dancing so that it's all right for a black woman to dance in a way that is lascivious, crude and coarse because what would one expect, but not for a white woman to do so, then I agree. That that argument would not just be racist. It would be very offensive indeed. But I get the very strong impression that isn't what the arguments is.

Clearly, as foreigners, we're outside the culture and don't get the point. Not everything transposes. Would it be wiser just to give up trying?

I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a friend when I was trying to figure out why another friend was mad at me. I wound up asking if the other friend came with a decoder ring because as far as I could tell whenever she said or did or liked something and I didn't say or do or like the same thing, it was an insult because it was like I thought I was better than she was. On the other hand, whenever I said or did or liked something after she did, it was offensive because I was copying her and that was an insult.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The solution some seem to be proposing is that the stepchild should be allowed to play with any and every toy in the house, but the other children may not touch the cool toys created out of the second hand or broken ones, because they are still only for the stepchild.

Wouldn't a better solution be that all children may play with any of the toys?

Oy, forget the analogies, then.
White people have criticised the behaviour of Black folk "Look at them dancing like monkeys, speaking and acting like trash" All whilst appropriating many of those same behaviours.
It is not about who owns what; it is about taking the creation without giving any respect to the creators. Actually, not failing to give respect, but actively disrespecting and disregarding.
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
Would you give specific, detailed examples of how the majority of white people have done these things? I grant there are scummy whites, but you sound as if you believed that none of them are decent human beings.

Moo

Keeping it to music; Swing, Blues, Jazz, Rock n' Roll, R&B, Hip-Hop. All musical styles birthed by black folk but appropriated by white folk. The stories in amongst this are not all grim, but it remains that white folk, until Hip Hop, made more money than the originators.
The music industry is not the majority of people, but if you consume the product, you share the responsibility of its manufacture.

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Actually, not failing to give respect, but actively disrespecting and disregarding.

Then the solution is to give respect, not to burn all of the Beatles' albums or shun Tommy Dorsey's work. And it's not a sin to enjoy those things, either.

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Oy, forget the analogies, then.
White people have criticised the behaviour of Black folk "Look at them dancing like monkeys, speaking and acting like trash" All whilst appropriating many of those same behaviours.
It is not about who owns what; it is about taking the creation without giving any respect to the creators. Actually, not failing to give respect, but actively disrespecting and disregarding.

Surely the offensive and immoral part of that is referring to other human beings as "monkeys" and "trash"? Being influenced by culture and art is not offensive or immoral.

If Taylor Swift (of whom I had not heard before this thread) calls black people "monkeys" and "trash" then she could be accused of racism. As it is, the implication of this thread seems to be that even though no one has pointed to a single racism utterance of hers, the fact that she has (apparently) employed a style of dance originating from black dancers is sufficient to infer that she shares the same racist attitudes of other people who have been influenced by similar artistic expressions. Which is just too fucking stupid for words.

And that's even if I grant the inherently unlikely premise that it's the same white people who think black people are monkeys who are all gung ho for dreadlocks and breakdancing. I doubt it.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Actually, not failing to give respect, but actively disrespecting and disregarding.

Then the solution is to give respect, not to burn all of the Beatles' albums or shun Tommy Dorsey's work. And it's not a sin to enjoy those things, either.
I don't think that is where my comments were heading.

Love the Beatles, they were my first exposure to pop/rock music. I would not shun Tommy Dorsey, but would rather listen to Benny Goodman or Chick Webb.

Back to serious for a moment. Benny Goodman and Chick Webb. Do you know why Benny Goodman was called "the King of Swing"? Fletcher Henderson. Henderson was a Black man who sold his songbook to Goodman, whose orchestras taught Goodman's and who arraigned the music that made Goodman famous.

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Holy Smoke
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Keeping it to music; Swing, Blues, Jazz, Rock n' Roll, R&B, Hip-Hop. All musical styles birthed by black folk but appropriated by white folk.

No, lilBuddha, they were styles birthed by musicians and borrowed and developed by other musicians. Without any help from politicians.

[ 14. October 2014, 20:48: Message edited by: Holy Smoke ]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Surely the offensive and immoral part of that is referring to other human beings as "monkeys" and "trash"? Being influenced by culture and art is not offensive or immoral.

It is not the influence, but the appropriation. It is not always straightforward, either. Take Shake, Rattle n' Roll, considered a major catalyst for Rock n Roll. Written by a black man, for a black man but gained prominence first through a white recording. Throwing no shade at Bill Haley, he helped Joe Turner; the first to record SRnR. He did, though, begin his career in RnR largely on the strength of black music.
And Rock n Roll, child of black music, became so divorced from black culture that the lead singer of a black rock band was questioned as to why a black man would play rock music. Black people did not abandon rock, rock abandoned black people.

quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:

And that's even if I grant the inherently unlikely premise that it's the same white people who think black people are monkeys who are all gung ho for dreadlocks and breakdancing. I doubt it.

Southern Rock music. It maintained black roots musically, whilst being played by people who have anything but respect for black people.
Many examples are not so dichotomous.
Iggy Azalea. When she performs, it is not a white person performing black music that is the problem, it is that she sings as if she were black.
Quentin Tarantino. When he speaks in an interview for a movie such as Reservoir Dogs he speaks in his normal, California accent. However, speaking to
black people about his blaxploitation movie, he speaks in a fairly insulting manner.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Keeping it to music; Swing, Blues, Jazz, Rock n' Roll, R&B, Hip-Hop. All musical styles birthed by black folk but appropriated by white folk.

No, lilBuddha, they were styles birthed by musicians and borrowed and developed by other musicians. Without any help from politicians.
Was not referencing politicians. Though, politicians did have influence in early rock n roll. By banning and codifying when and where "race" music could be played. Where black musicians could play.
Black music, including proto-rock n roll, was played on different stations than white music. When the music became popular anyway, white producers hired white musicians to play that music.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy Smoke:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Keeping it to music; Swing, Blues, Jazz, Rock n' Roll, R&B, Hip-Hop. All musical styles birthed by black folk but appropriated by white folk.

No, lilBuddha, they were styles birthed by musicians and borrowed and developed by other musicians. Without any help from politicians.
You say that as if it somehow contradicts lilBuddha's point.

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saysay

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Iggy Azalea. When she performs, it is not a white person performing black music that is the problem, it is that she sings as if she were black.

And I find this a problematic and possibly racist statement. What does it mean to perform as if one were black?

I ask as someone from an inter-racial family (black/ white marriage in the previous generation) who is baffled by many black people's insistence on calling me Sarah Jane (from the movie Imitations of Life). Most of my friends are working-class whites and I have no idea what I'm saying or doing that reads as black to people north of the Mason Dixon line. But, apparently, according to you if I were to perform on film or in music, I'd be being racist.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Iggy Azalea. When she performs, it is not a white person performing black music that is the problem, it is that she sings as if she were black.

And I find this a problematic and possibly racist statement. What does it mean to perform as if one were black?

I ask as someone from an inter-racial family (black/ white marriage in the previous generation) who is baffled by many black people's insistence on calling me Sarah Jane (from the movie Imitations of Life). Most of my friends are working-class whites and I have no idea what I'm saying or doing that reads as black to people north of the Mason Dixon line. But, apparently, according to you if I were to perform on film or in music, I'd be being racist.

Azalea is a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she speaks, she sounds like a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she sings, she affects a black accent.
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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I find the whole idea that there are certain forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for black people and other forms of cultural and recreational activities appropriate for white people to be more than a little problematic.

It is more than a little problematic. The entire race relations situation, especially in America, is fucked up (which on the other hand means that twice as much thought goes into it in America as anywhere else). If there were a healthy race relations situation in America then it would be an incredibly bad idea. And heart surgery on a healthy person is a very bad idea.

This.
[Overused]

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Azalea is a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she speaks, she sounds like a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she sings, she affects a black accent.

Is she doing this to take the piss? If so, fine, that's racist.

Is she doing it because she thinks the song (or style of song) sounds better in a particular voice? If so, that's an artistic choice that seems to me no more objectionable than an English actor affecting a Scottish accent when playing MacBeth.

Is she just being pretentious? If so, that may be an artistic or personal fault, but it isn't racist. Everyone is pretentious. We've all, at some time, put on some sort of pose to project some sort of desired impression, and most of us have occasionally looked daft as a result. The fact that it's a "black" accent that's used doesn't automatically make the choice racist.

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saysay

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Azalea is a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she speaks, she sounds like a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she sings, she affects a black accent.

But what on earth is a black accent?

(And is it just me, or do other people find it almost impossible to hear accents in songs? Or are all the Australian, Irish, English, New Zealand, etc. musicians affecting American accents to try to succeed in the American market?)

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Jude
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Right now I'm listening to one of my favourite songs - Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc. Racist?

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“So as to do them?” asked her aunt.
“So as to choose,” said Isabel.
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Jude:
Right now I'm listening to one of my favourite songs - Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc. Racist?

Well, as far as the appropriation is goes, there is a certain ironic self-awareness to it. From what I can tell, the story is from the p.o.v. of a dorky white guy getting freaked out by his encounters with black people in Jamaica. So, it's kinda funny that he'd be singing it in a Jamaican style.

I'm not entirely comfortable with the only black characters being, apparently, a mugger and a drug dealer. Though I suppose that Jamaica is one of the places where most travel guides would warn their readers to beware of street crime(along with much of the underdeveloped world).

[ 15. October 2014, 00:28: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I don't think that is where my comments were heading.

Then I'm sorry but I genuinely misunderstood you. [Hot and Hormonal]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
Let's take twerking as an example. The majority of white people are not going to twerk. Period.

Wow. Just, wow.

So, apparently, melanin not only affects your skin colour, it affects your anatomy so fundamentally that it alters whether or not you can plant your feet and shake your butt.

I'd be quite fascinated to know how the lighter-skinned girls in the video overcame their body's fundamental unsuitability to twerking.

[ 15. October 2014, 02:12: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Azalea is a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she speaks, she sounds like a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she sings, she affects a black accent.

Is she doing this to take the piss? If so, fine, that's racist.

Is she doing it because she thinks the song (or style of song) sounds better in a particular voice? If so, that's an artistic choice that seems to me no more objectionable than an English actor affecting a Scottish accent when playing MacBeth.

Exactly. I'm an Australian. I've heard what rapping sounds like when done in an Australian accent. It frequently sounds crap. Even Australians think it frequently sounds crap.

It's getting better, as Australian rappers gradually refine their technique, but they still rarely do their rap in an 'ordinary' Australian accent. They don't normally do it in as quite an affected accent as Iggy Azalea, either, but then she isn't targeting the Australian market. She's targeting the American market.

It's no different to the fact that legions of actors from Australia put on an American accent for the sake of performing in American film and television. As do actors from the UK - I've only recently discovered that Marsha Thomason (who appears in White Collar) is British, meaning that the one episode of the show which had a plot that involved her 'pretending' to be British was actually the one episode where she was dropping her fake accent).

Developing your own version of an artistic form takes time. Everybody learns by copying. The earliest European painters in Australia made it look European - the trees, and the faces of Aboriginals - because they hadn't yet learnt a unique approach. There are certain paintings that are considered landmarks in Australian art precisely because they are the first time a gum tree actually LOOKS like a gum tree, or natives actually LOOK like natives rather than Europeans in blackface. Maybe one day the world will be awash with Australian rappers who are rapping 'in Australian' and you'll all love how the artform has evolved in that way, but in the meantime it's silly to condemn someone who has heard sounds they like and imitated them just because it happens that she is blonde.

Her voice box isn't blonde. Accents aren't genetic.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by saysay:

(And is it just me, or do other people find it almost impossible to hear accents in songs? Or are all the Australian, Irish, English, New Zealand, etc. musicians affecting American accents to try to succeed in the American market?)

Depends who you listen to. Most mainstream pop is sung by artists affecting a mid-atlantic twang.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Is she doing this to take the piss? If so, fine, that's racist.

Is she doing it because she thinks the song (or style of song) sounds better in a particular voice? If so, that's an artistic choice that seems to me no more objectionable than an English actor affecting a Scottish accent when playing MacBeth.

Is she just being pretentious? If so, that may be an artistic or personal fault, but it isn't racist. Everyone is pretentious. We've all, at some time, put on some sort of pose to project some sort of desired impression, and most of us have occasionally looked daft as a result. The fact that it's a "black" accent that's used doesn't automatically make the choice racist.

I don't think racism is always clear cut line. Is Azalea being racist? Some think so, and for more reasons than her singing.
A play can be different, as you are portraying another person. And not always straight forward either. An English actor doing an authentic accent? Probably OK.

quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Azalea is a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she speaks, she sounds like a white Australian from a white Australian town. When she sings, she affects a black accent.

But what on earth is a black accent?

Colour does not give one an accent. However, culture certainly can. There is also phrasing, so perhaps accent is not precise enough a word.
Listen to her talk, Listen to her sing.
Contrast with the Beastie Boys. They are from the early days of white rappers and did not feel the need to be anything other than themselves.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
They are from the early days of white rappers and did not feel the need to be anything other than themselves.

But they are American. Are you unhappy that Azalea puts on an American accent, or are you unhappy that she puts on a particular variety of American accent that can be identified as 'black'? If she tried to sound like the Beastie Boys or Eminem would you be fine with that?

I repeat, no Australian rapper trying to break into the international market is likely to "sound like themselves". Not even Australians are comfortable with the sound that results, and the international market certainly isn't used to it. We are a nation of ugly nasal dipthongs that just aren't suited to the art form in question.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by saysay:

(And is it just me, or do other people find it almost impossible to hear accents in songs? Or are all the Australian, Irish, English, New Zealand, etc. musicians affecting American accents to try to succeed in the American market?)

Depends who you listen to. Most mainstream pop is sung by artists affecting a mid-atlantic twang.
Singing is different because proper technique in singing involves producing vowels in a way that is unlike speech, with pure tones instead of dipthongs.

There are singers who sound accented, but in general they are not trying to create a 'nice' singing sound. They are doing something that is closer to ordinary speech.

I can't really hear much of an 'American' accent even in American singers, whereas I can readily hear an accent in American speech.

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Enoch
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# 14322

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A lot of British pop musicians sing with cod US accents. I don't think it's because they are pitching themselves at the US market. It's more that they think it's essential to the genre and makes them sound cool.

It's not necessary. They don't all do it. But according to Justinian's arguments, Americans should regard this as an insult.

In the same way, perhaps we should regard it as an insult to us that in the Eurovision Song Contest, a lot of the continental competitors choose to sing in English. They seem to think that's more cool than singing in, say, German or Serb-Croat.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
quote:
Marvin the Martian: That's still claiming the kudos for someone else's work, which is still the same thing.
Not really. You can try to look cool using someone else's stuff without explicitly claiming you made it.
The problem with that being what, exactly? People do it all the time. If I bust out some Michael Jackson moves on the dancefloor or pick up my guitar and nail the solo from Hotel California in an attempt to look cool then what's wrong with that?

quote:
quote:
Marvin the Martian: Why? Does making something mean only you may use it?
Read back our discussion please. This wasn't about who can use something.
You were complaining about mocking someone who's made something that's shabby. But you were also complaining about people wanting to use that something because it's really cool. It's hard to keep up with the conversation when you're flipping between the two depending on which point you want to make at the time.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
In fact I'd go so far as to say that Miley Cyrus' twerking probably qualifies as a mean-spirited parody of twerking.

What's wrong with parody?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Actually, not failing to give respect, but actively disrespecting and disregarding.

Then the solution is to give respect, not to burn all of the Beatles' albums or shun Tommy Dorsey's work. And it's not a sin to enjoy those things, either.
I don't think that is where my comments were heading.
Yes it bloody was. Where else can a position of "white people shouldn't use black forms of cultural expression" take us?

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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
... If I bust out some Michael Jackson moves on the dancefloor or pick up my guitar and nail the solo from Hotel California in an attempt to look cool then what's wrong with that? ...

Nothing, as long as you don't think you're going to look like anything else other than a complete plonker

[ 15. October 2014, 09:06: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
... If I bust out some Michael Jackson moves on the dancefloor or pick up my guitar and nail the solo from Hotel California in an attempt to look cool then what's wrong with that? ...

Nothing, as long as you don't think you're going to look like anything else other than a complete plonker
Granted, but that's a function of how good I am at doing those things rather than the fact that I didn't create them. If I actually can move like Michael Jackson or play like Don Felder then I'm going to look cool as hell.

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quetzalcoatl
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The thing about black accents is interesting, as people used to complain that a lot of the white kids in London schools were talking like black kids. Anyway, from what I've seen, they still do that, but there has been a sort of fusion between different accents. But my point is that they wanted to seem cool - is that racist? I suppose technically it is, but it's an odd way of looking at it.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
The thing about black accents is interesting, as people used to complain that a lot of the white kids in London schools were talking like black kids. Anyway, from what I've seen, they still do that, but there has been a sort of fusion between different accents. But my point is that they wanted to seem cool - is that racist? I suppose technically it is, but it's an odd way of looking at it.

The only reason it's racist is if we decide the race of the cool people is more important than their coolness.

I'm sure the 'coolness' derives in part from being different, and different from how their own parents talk, but the fact is if there wasn't a single black person around the white kids would find something else to imitate which would be 'cool'.

Also, accents do fuse - that's how the Australian accent was created for example. It certainly isn't something that just sprang up from the Australian soil. It's a mash of Cockney and Irish with a dash of various other flavours from the British Isles. Give it a couple of centuries and the kids of the UK will speak in some other accent that isn't quite like what either "white kids" or "black kids" speak currently.

[ 15. October 2014, 09:59: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
Let's take twerking as an example. The majority of white people are not going to twerk. Period.

Wow. Just, wow.

So, apparently, melanin not only affects your skin colour, it affects your anatomy so fundamentally that it alters whether or not you can plant your feet and shake your butt.

Sorry, I thought that some of the context there was more obvious than it was. "The majority of white people are not going to twerk any more than they are going to dance ballet."

quote:
I'd be quite fascinated to know how the lighter-skinned girls in the video overcame their body's fundamental unsuitability to twerking.
And this is again a misunderstanding of what I was writing - and I should have been clearer, sorry. I'm unlikely to ever play baseball (unless rounders counts). It's not unsuitability - it's wrong context.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
In fact I'd go so far as to say that Miley Cyrus' twerking probably qualifies as a mean-spirited parody of twerking.

What's wrong with parody?
Your question is missing two critical words. "mean-spirited". Some parody is great. Some of it even gets to the heart of what's being parodied.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
Your question is missing two critical words. "mean-spirited".

Is mean spirited parody always wrong? I've seen some very mean-spirited parodies of Conservative or Republican politicians over the last few years, for example.

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
Your question is missing two critical words. "mean-spirited".

Is mean spirited parody always wrong? I've seen some very mean-spirited parodies of Conservative or Republican politicians over the last few years, for example.
No it isn't always wrong - but as I pointed out upthread, neither is cutting people open with a knife. Surgeons, after all, do it. Politics is about the least likely area for it to be wrong, and even then it often is.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
No it isn't always wrong - but as I pointed out upthread, neither is cutting people open with a knife. Surgeons, after all, do it. Politics is about the least likely area for it to be wrong, and even then it often is.

So politicians are (more likely to be) fair game, but dancers aren't? Or is it only certain types of dancer - would a parody of ballet or ballroom dancers be OK?

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I notice that lots of kids in English schools use black slang, well, I'm assuming that some of it was originally. I don't think this is racist; it seems like admiration to me.

Back when I was at school in the 80's such were called "gammas". I've no idea where the word comes from.
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