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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Swing low, sweet chariot - cultural appropriation? (Page 4)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Swing low, sweet chariot - cultural appropriation?
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I repeat a point I've already made, one which nobody seems to have answered properly. One can't complain about somebody misappropriating part of your culture unless you have a title to claim it's yours. None of those who have been arguing that the English Rugby Team has improperly misappropriated Swing Low Sweet Chariot have deigned to demonstrate on what basis they have a claim that it's theirs, yet alone whether they object.

Actually, I linked earlier to an article that featured two American black academics reactions.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Not only because of the current racism and injustices, but because what Britain now is a direct connection to what Britain was. .

Ahh thank you. Presumably on that basis - and in the interests of restoration and consistency - I can now expect the US Government to return the Great Plains, New York, Chicago and other territory to the Native Tribes? Perhaps it might be a good idea to address one's own racist issues (reaction to Obamacare anyone) before presuming to try and sort out others' (admitted) concerns.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Ahh thank you. Presumably on that basis - and in the interests of restoration and consistency - I can now expect the US Government to return the Great Plains, New York, Chicago and other territory to the Native Tribes? Perhaps it might be a good idea to address one's own racist issues (reaction to Obamacare anyone) before presuming to try and sort out others' (admitted) concerns.

How about sticking to the subject? Singing a slave song in an England Rugby match has nothing whatsoever to do with historic wrongs to Native Americans.

Nobody here has tried to justify anything said about Obamacare.

FFS, what is so bad about talking carefully about something that we habitually do without thinking? What is the problem here? Why is it such a threat to you?

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arse

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Actually, I linked earlier to an article that featured two American black academics reactions.

You did, and I read carefully their disappointed, mostly baffled, reactions.

But being baffled by a foreign culture's use of one's own isn't an uncommon event. It's done mainly out of ignorance of any wider significance, and importantly, no harm is meant by it, even though the originating culture may feel bemused, uncomfortable and possibly aggrieved.

I do understand. But I also understand that there are both bigger fish to fry and that trying to educate English rugby fans is going to take a very long time, when the actual problem is that racism in rugby is deep and endemic. And that sexism in rugby - the actions to the song, anyone? - is also a huge problem.

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Forward the New Republic

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You did, and I read carefully their disappointed, mostly baffled, reactions.

But being baffled by a foreign culture's use of one's own isn't an uncommon event. It's done mainly out of ignorance of any wider significance, and importantly, no harm is meant by it, even though the originating culture may feel bemused, uncomfortable and possibly aggrieved.

I do understand. But I also understand that there are both bigger fish to fry and that trying to educate English rugby fans is going to take a very long time, when the actual problem is that racism in rugby is deep and endemic. And that sexism in rugby - the actions to the song, anyone? - is also a huge problem.

I don't think racism is particularly endemic in rugby union, but sexism very much is.

But then I just don't accept that there is nothing which can be done. SLSC only got to the position it is in with effort by the RFU. So put some effort into promoting something else.

Similarly with Tom Jones at Wales matches. Stop playing Delilah over the PA. Bring along some professional singers to lead the crowd in other songs - which don't have to be "wholesome" just not about sexual violence.

England rugby union fans are better than you seem to think. Changing the culture isn't as hard as you suggest. Lead from the front, set some lines in the sand and encourage respect across the England rugby union supporting community.

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arse

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
If you're more concerned with the injustices of today, then use them as your examples. Don't blame me for responding to the things you actually post rather than the things you don't.
Your posts indicate no understanding of how examples work. The past serves as a clearer example, the US in particular, because there was an open acceptance of differential treatment.
The problem I have with it is that to use historical examples as you do is to ignore the many steps that have been taken since then to rectify the situation. Race relations are far from perfect now, but they are better than they were in the 1950s - and a massive amount better than they were in the 1850s - so to argue about a contemporary issue as if nothing had changed since then seems unfair to say the least.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
But I also understand that there are both bigger fish to fry and that trying to educate English rugby fans is going to take a very long time, when the actual problem is that racism in rugby is deep and endemic.

Actually, I think the problem is that racism is pervasive and subtle, but in Britain as a whole, rather than just rugby. And unconscious as well. It can be hard to communicate because of those factors, which is why I use America as an example. Because of their history, and perhaps because of the difference in their general culture, racism is bolder, more clear there. Setting aside the obvious idiots of Ukip, BNP and the like, of course.

quote:

And that sexism in rugby - the actions to the song, anyone? - is also a huge problem.

Obviously, but not the subject of this thread. Yet. But if wish to discuss sexism, and frankly the barely post-pubescent behaviour in sport, I'm your huckleberry.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
so to argue about a contemporary issue as if nothing had changed since then seems unfair to say the least.

Never said that things hadn't improved. I write the words, you read the words, but your replies do not indicate you understand how the words work together.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Never said that things hadn't improved.

Not in as many words perhaps, but by constantly focusing on the injustices of the past you sure do give that impression.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
so to argue about a contemporary issue as if nothing had changed since then seems unfair to say the least.

Though this equally relies on a comparison to the past that you wish to exclude when it works against you (i.e. that past injustices were much worse than present injustices).
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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
]Actually, I think the problem is that racism is pervasive and subtle, but in Britain as a whole, rather than just rugby.

Yes, certainly, that rugby - almost any sport - will reflect the society from which it draws its talent. And rugby has, if anything, a class divide.

And to answer mr cheesy: no, I don't think that rugby is exceptionally racist, just averagely so. There are fewer racist incidents at rugby grounds than at, say, football grounds. But football has made official efforts to clean up its act, and the rugby authorities are still at the point of "it doesn't really happen here".

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Forward the New Republic

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Macrina
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I'm just dipping in here to comment on the Haka in relation to this discussion.

I don't think its a suitable point of comparison to English fans singing SLSC for several reasons. The first is that the Haka is and always has been part of Kiwi culture as a whole, it has not been taken from another country or culture and misused. Secondly the Haka is viewed with significant respect both by the All Blacks who perform it and the New Zealand rugby fans who observe it.

There has been considerable and ongoing engagement by NZ Rugby with the Iwi who have traditionally claimed Ka Mate (the Haka normally performed) as their own and with experts in Maori tikanga (customs) in writing the All Blacks own Haka (Kapa o Pango). I don't think its fair or accurate therefore to place the Haka in the category of appropriation.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I haven't had the experience that makes ordinary people of good-will sensitive to 'cultural appropriation'.

It is, however, possible to have some personal appreciation of "cultural appropriation" or worse, but still make a decision to support the liberal, pluralist principle of freedom of expression even when it hurts you, or people like you.

Christians in the West face a day to day experience of their symbols, music, dress, buildings. theological concepts, etc. being constantly trashed, misused, bastardised, syncretised and misrepresented.

This is not the same as persecution, but very real persecution (sometimes involving violence, destruction of buildings, abduction, rape, murder) occurs in other parts of the world, and many Christians know fellow-believers who have escaped such situations, or have themselves lived and worked in countries where these things happen.

They can therefore understand why some of their fellow-Christians find the endemic disrespect in the West sinister, and fear it is the thin edge of the wedge which might end in actual persecution, BUT still draw the line at trying to manipulate critics of Christianity and stifle debate, with an attitude of: "You can't understand what it's like to be us, and what some of us have gone through, so you have no right to attack us in any way, and you must take very seriously our distress over anti-Christian material".

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

Christians in the West face a day to day experience of their symbols, music, dress, buildings. theological concepts, etc. being constantly trashed, misused, bastardised, syncretised and misrepresented.

Clap........Clap.........Clap.........Clap
Because Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, etc. don't suffer the same in the west?
quote:

This is not the same as persecution, but very real persecution (sometimes involving violence, destruction of buildings, abduction, rape, murder) occurs in other parts of the world, and many Christians know fellow-believers who have escaped such situations, or have themselves lived and worked in countries where these things happen.

Again, happens to all religious groups, why is it so much more terrible when it happens to Christians?
quote:

They can therefore understand why some of their fellow-Christians find the endemic disrespect in the West sinister, and fear it is the thin edge of the wedge which might end in actual persecution, BUT still draw the line at trying to manipulate critics of Christianity and stifle debate, with an attitude of: "You can't understand what it's like to be us, and what some of us have gone through, so you have no right to attack us in any way, and you must take very seriously our distress over anti-Christian material".

[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] Oh, wait, you're serious. First, some Christians whinge like mad about how persecuted they are in their own countries. War on Christmas, anyone. Second, non-Christians have faced actual persecution in those same countries and still are still othered in these countries which are also ours. Though you wouldn't know it by some people.

[ 15. March 2017, 22:49: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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I'm sure this happens to Christians as well.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Doc Tor
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I'm sorry, lB, you're engaging in whataboutery.

If you think cultural appropriation is a thing that people shouldn't do, Christian symbols - the cross, and specifically the crucifix - shouldn't be appropriated either.

Back when it suddenly became the fashion for a season (I blame Madonna), huge, blingy crucifixes were everywhere. Pretty certain that fell under the cultural appropriation criteria, and you're now mocking Kaplan for feeling uncomfortable with it.

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Forward the New Republic

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mr cheesy
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Of course, the cross is a symbol used by the English rugby team too.

Again, I've circled back to the same impasse, I'm not sure how to process this.

On one level there seems to me to be a bit of a difference between using a symbol which has historic meaning within a particular culture (so the cross is either meaningful because most of the population are Christians, are influenced heavily by Christianity or are seeking to reinterpret that symbol from within that culture) and taking-and-abusing someone else's symbols that they've imbibed with their own meaning.

But... well, those two concepts merge in the middle. It is entirely possible that SLSC became popularised within British culture and church as a result of choirs visiting the UK. It is possible that it then had a "respectable" second life as a gospel song, which was then ironically subverted by the hard-drinking rugby crowd and then subsequently had a third life as an official-unofficial anthem of the English rugby team.

Personally, I'd quite like it if the cross was removed from British symbolism. But I don't feel particularly strongly about it because it has such an ancient pedigree and because using it ironically is not a recent phenomena.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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Maybe it is just about timing. Maybe it is just too soon after the end of slavery and the evils of the British empire for the English to be making leery drinking ditties out of gospel slave songs.

Maybe it is also because the song is oblique.

It is hard to imagine we'd have the same reaction if it turned out that we were using lyrics ironically from a song which was clearly referencing lynching. Whilst the process of assimilation might have been exactly the same, I don't think we'd be trying so hard to defend our use of it.

I think we'd just mutter about not realising and swiftly try to dig up another song which was less problematic, wouldn't we?

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arse

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Doc Tor
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It did occur to me that there'd be a tsunami of righteous anger directed at say Del Monte if they used "Strange Fruit" in an advert.

I'm trying to think of similar cultural parallels, but for the very great part, the British (and specifically the English) have managed to squeak through history believing their shit smells like roses.

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Forward the New Republic

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
It is, however, possible to have some personal appreciation of "cultural appropriation" or worse, but still make a decision to support the liberal, pluralist principle of freedom of expression even when it hurts you, or people like you.

Only when it is white people in white-majority countries who are supporting the principle of freedom of expression. For instance, non-Aboriginals must always have the right to criticise Aboriginals. However, when minority groups criticise the white people it is
"an attempt at emotional blackmail, and a bluff which must always be called", "needs to be called out for the irrational and dishonest bullshit that it is", and "completely unacceptable".

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I'm sorry, lB, you're engaging in whataboutery.

If you think cultural appropriation is a thing that people shouldn't do, Christian symbols - the cross, and specifically the crucifix - shouldn't be appropriated either.

Back when it suddenly became the fashion for a season (I blame Madonna), huge, blingy crucifixes were everywhere. Pretty certain that fell under the cultural appropriation criteria, and you're now mocking Kaplan for feeling uncomfortable with it.

I think you are misunderstanding. I'm not saying it is OK to mock Christianity. I am saying that they are not uniquely mocked in the west, but that all religions suffer this. I am refuting his claim that they nobly suffer in silence and am making the point that the effect of mocking Christians in western countries is much less than other groups suffer. I'm not saying that makes it OK.

And I think whataboutery isn't the best term for what you think I'm doing.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
It is, however, possible to have some personal appreciation of "cultural appropriation" or worse, but still make a decision to support the liberal, pluralist principle of freedom of expression even when it hurts you, or people like you.

Only when it is white people in white-majority countries who are supporting the principle of freedom of expression. For instance, non-Aboriginals must always have the right to criticise Aboriginals. However, when minority groups criticise the white people it is
"an attempt at emotional blackmail, and a bluff which must always be called", "needs to be called out for the irrational and dishonest bullshit that it is", and "completely unacceptable".

This is a deliberate or inadvertent misrepresentation.

On a generous presumption of the latter, here is a simple explanation for you.

White people have the right to criticise non-white people.

Non-white people have the right to criticise white people.

Nobody has the right to claim special sensitivities (religious, ethnic, whatever) which preclude any criticism of them, on the grounds that their critics cannot understand their feelings.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
why is it so much more terrible when it happens to Christians?

Who said that?

quote:
some Christians whinge like mad about how persecuted they are in their own countries. War on Christmas, anyone.
If you don't know about situations such as that of Coptic Christians in Egypt, then your ignorance prevents anything you say on a topic such as this from being taken seriously.

If you do know, but choose to trivialise it ("whinge"), the you are an arsehole.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I'm sure this happens to Christians as well.

No, Christians in the West do not suffer what Jews have suffered and do suffer.

Which is why I have made a point of stating, more than once, that Christians in the West cannot claim - yet, at any rate - to be persecuted, a point which you choose to ignore.

However, various Jewish spokespersons have co-operated in drawing attention to the global persecution of Christians, because of their own experience of what persecution involves, and how it evolves.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

quote:
some Christians whinge like mad about how persecuted they are in their own countries. War on Christmas, anyone.
If you don't know about situations such as that of Coptic Christians in Egypt, then your ignorance prevents anything you say on a topic such as this from being taken seriously.
If you do know, but choose to trivialise it ("whinge"), the you are an arsehole.

What happens to Coptic Christians in Egypt is bad and wrong. But it has naught to do with this thread. Your post is irrelevant unless you are using it as a tactic to ignore other injustices.

quote:
Nobody has the right to claim special sensitivities (religious, ethnic, whatever) which preclude any criticism of them, on the grounds that their critics cannot understand their feelings.
No one is saying this. Criticisms aren't the subject of the OP. But if one really wishes to critique anything, a knowledge of the subject is a good idea.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
This is a deliberate or inadvertent misrepresentation.

Nobody has the right to claim special sensitivities (religious, ethnic, whatever) which preclude any criticism of them, on the grounds that their critics cannot understand their feelings.

If you're concerned about not being misrepresented yourself you might wish to not misrepresent other people. This is not about people's sensitivities or feelings. But even if it were, people would have the right to claim anything they like.

If you seriously claim free expression for yourself to criticise other people (*) it is hypocritical to try and tell other people what rights they do or do not have to respond to your criticisms. If you voice an opinion about other people they have a perfect right to respond: whether that you are belittling problems that you have not experienced; whether that you have never seen the miseries that you imagine thus easy to be borne (Johnson); that out of self-congratulation or self-absolution you have an interest in dismissing the seriousness of the other parties' concerns. They may or may not be justified - though of course once you have offered criticisms you are no longer neutral in the matter - but you cannot truthfully deny that they have a right to so respond.

(*) An activity deprecated by many moralists not least our Lord.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Palimpsest
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I'm happy with the way one local Baseball team The Spokane Indians has dealt with the issue; http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20100224&content_id=8130724&sid=t486&vkey=team4

The team has worked to help promote the local language to keep it from going extinct.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
I'm happy with the way one local Baseball team The Spokane Indians has dealt with the issue; http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20100224&content_id=8130724&sid=t486&vkey=team4

The team has worked to help promote the local language to keep it from going extinct.

You allow a team to be called that without demur?
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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
It did occur to me that there'd be a tsunami of righteous anger directed at say Del Monte if they used "Strange Fruit" in an advert ...

Doc Tor, you'll need to explain that one. If the expression "Strange Fruit" has resonances, they are lost on me. Is it a euphemism for something where you live, like 'swinging both ways'?

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Doc Tor, you'll need to explain that one. If the expression "Strange Fruit" has resonances, they are lost on me. Is it a euphemism for something where you live, like 'swinging both ways'?

It's a famous song about lynching by Bilie Holiday. Link to vid on youtube.

But it doesn't really matter what the resonances are, does it? If it was written for some serious purpose, it'd be wrong to use it to sell canned fruit, right?

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arse

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It is entirely possible that SLSC became popularised within British culture and church as a result of choirs visiting the UK. It is possible that it then had a "respectable" second life as a gospel song, which was then ironically subverted by the hard-drinking rugby crowd and then subsequently had a third life as an official-unofficial anthem of the English rugby team.

Seems like a good summary of what actually happened.

I'm trying to get my head around the idea that meanings exist in the mind. That mind imposes meaning on matter, communicates meaning to other minds, and that meanings evolve as information is passed from mind to mind, and as different minds encounter the same information in different contexts.

So I reject the idea that SLSC has only one meaning.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Doc Tor
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You've never yet come across the concept of a meme? I think that's possibly slightly disingenuous.

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Forward the New Republic

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:


I'm trying to get my head around the idea that meanings exist in the mind. That mind imposes meaning on matter, communicates meaning to other minds, and that meanings evolve as information is passed from mind to mind, and as different minds encounter the same information in different contexts.

So I reject the idea that SLSC has only one meaning.

You must realise that's shit, Russ, with a moments reflection. If all idea are just existing in the mind, capable of being reinterpreted by different people in different ways, then there would be no shared understanding of something that is racist, sexist, homophobic etc.

Nobody does that. We all accept that there are some ideas which are just racist and that are not capable of being reinterpreted. And that if we find someone using them unintentionally, knowingly, we don't just say "oh it's fine, he just called that person [racist insult] but he's just reinterpreted it to mean something else altogether.

Because.that.would.be.stupid.

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arse

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Erroneous Monk
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Could a white British person argue that, say, for a black British actor to play the fictional character James Bond in a film is cultural appropriation? Or are objections to a black Bond racist?

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
Could a white British person argue that, say, for a black British actor to play the fictional character James Bond in a film is cultural appropriation? Or are objections to a black Bond racist?

In what world is it cultural appropriation to have a significant proportion of the British public represented in the actor playing a British secret agent?

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arse

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
Could a white British person argue that, say, for a black British actor to play the fictional character James Bond in a film is cultural appropriation? Or are objections to a black Bond racist?

In what world is it cultural appropriation to have a significant proportion of the British public represented in the actor playing a British secret agent?
I suppose it's a question of whether there is such a thing as white British culture. And I don't know.

(But then I wouldn't know, would I? I'm mixed race. I don't have any culture of my own at all.....) [Biased]

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
Could a white British person argue that, say, for a black British actor to play the fictional character James Bond in a film is cultural appropriation? Or are objections to a black Bond racist?

I think you'd have to acknowledge that it was an innovation, on a par with a female Doctor Who.

But I don't think it'd be cultural appropriation whoever played the role, just as long as the role was quintessentially British. Black (and Asian and Chinese and Middle Eastern) people can be British. And given that Bond would be about 90 by now, the idea that you can't make him black because that wouldn't be factually accurate is a bit [Paranoid] .

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Forward the New Republic

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
Could a white British person argue that, say, for a black British actor to play the fictional character James Bond in a film is cultural appropriation? Or are objections to a black Bond racist?

I think you'd have to acknowledge that it was an innovation, on a par with a female Doctor Who.

But I don't think it'd be cultural appropriation whoever played the role, just as long as the role was quintessentially British. Black (and Asian and Chinese and Middle Eastern) people can be British. And given that Bond would be about 90 by now, the idea that you can't make him black because that wouldn't be factually accurate is a bit [Paranoid] .

True - I think Bond's far enough past the books now that there's no reason why he shouldn't be black, Chinese, anything (so long as still British). I think he probably should continue to be a he though - unlike Dr Who who presumably could regenerate as a woman (no problem with that). In the spirit of Fleming's books Bond probably should be a man.

*However* Fleming was pretty clear on who Bond was, what he looked like, and everything down to preferred brands of various things so *if* MGM wanted to do a faithful adaptation of one of the books, down to being set in the 1950s with Bond as a veteran of SOE, etc, *then* Bond should IMO be a white man. But if it's just "based on the character created by Ian Fleming" then there's much more scope to do whatever the studio wants.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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betjemaniac
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Basically, Bond as it is canonically I've got no problem whatsoever with Daniel Craig being replaced by anyone from Clive Owen through to Idris Elba - just so long as they can pull it off. I'm a big fan of how the Craig era films have gone back (much like the underrated Timothy Dalton) to the slightly mean unpleasant spirit of the original novels, but updated for the 21st century.

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And is it true? For if it is....

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
I suppose it's a question of whether there is such a thing as white British culture. And I don't know.

What is there about any part of British culture that requires one to be white? Yes, there are subcultures that have been predominantly white, but in what part of those is white necessary?
Black and brown subcultures in Britain came to be because white people barred the door to easy integration. So cultures of origination have been held onto a bit more. Britain has always been a mixed beverage, but now the beverage contains a bit of chocolate and cinnamon.
quote:

(But then I wouldn't know, would I? I'm mixed race. I don't have any culture of my own at all.....) [Biased]

You are British. Seriously, go to America. (You will blow their damn minds.) Your Britishness will be the dominant element. Though, given the British acting invasion of America, this is becoming less true.


quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

But I don't think it'd be cultural appropriation whoever played the role, just as long as the role was quintessentially British. Black (and Asian and Chinese and Middle Eastern) people can be British. And given that Bond would be about 90 by now, the idea that you can't make him black because that wouldn't be factually accurate is a bit [Paranoid] .

Because everything else about is so factual?
There are characteristics that make the character Bond.* I would argue that Timothy Dalton, and even Daniel Craig, went more against at least one of those characteristics than would Bond being black. Or even gasp female.


*British, unflappable, charismatic; character.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
In the spirit of Fleming's books Bond probably should be a man.

If you see misogyny as an essential part of Bond's character, perhaps. Bond was a man because that was part of the 1950's. As the movies are set in the present day, there is nothing to bar a woman from portraying the character.
quote:

*However* Fleming was pretty clear on who Bond was, what he looked like,

Those looks, other than being attractive, are not an essential part of the character. Neither, in present day, is being a white man. In reality, BTW, there have been female spies, some of whom used sex like Bond does.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Crœsos
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# 238

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Speaking of cultural [mis]appropriation . . .

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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I'm sure Alhassan stole that from an Irishman.
No wait! Millions of Irish have likely now said it.
So Cheeto was being accurate in the future

spooky

[ 17. March 2017, 19:45: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Prester John
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
Could a white British person argue that, say, for a black British actor to play the fictional character James Bond in a film is cultural appropriation? Or are objections to a black Bond racist?

I think you'd have to acknowledge that it was an innovation, on a par with a female Doctor Who.

But I don't think it'd be cultural appropriation whoever played the role, just as long as the role was quintessentially British. Black (and Asian and Chinese and Middle Eastern) people can be British. And given that Bond would be about 90 by now, the idea that you can't make him black because that wouldn't be factually accurate is a bit [Paranoid] .

Do untalented Aussies count?
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lilBuddha
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He was never Bond! You take that back

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Palimpsest
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
I'm happy with the way one local Baseball team The Spokane Indians has dealt with the issue; http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20100224&content_id=8130724&sid=t486&vkey=team4

The team has worked to help promote the local language to keep it from going extinct.

You allow a team to be called that without demur?
I believe that might be the call of the Indian tribe in question. If they like the results of the effort, it's not my place to demur.
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Kwesi
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The reference to James Bond raises a general issue as to whether acting generally is intrinsically misappropriation of all sorts of identities, as Shakespeare raises in Hamlet in reference to an actor:

Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wanned,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing—
For Hecuba!
What’s Hecuba to him or he to Hecuba
That he should weep for her?

The issue as to whether a black man could play Bond is the same as whether a white man can play Othello or a gentile Shylock. .Shakespeare would say, I think, that it relates to an actor's abiility to think himself/ herself into the part. A more tricky question is whether a white Othello should "black up". If a white person can play Othello then black actors can play white men or women.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
I'm happy with the way one local Baseball team The Spokane Indians has dealt with the issue; http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20100224&content_id=8130724&sid=t486&vkey=team4

The team has worked to help promote the local language to keep it from going extinct.

You allow a team to be called that without demur?
I believe that might be the call of the Indian tribe in question. If they like the results of the effort, it's not my place to demur.
Arguably then it's no one's place to demur about SLSC unless you are descended from those who originally wrote the song or those for whom the song originally meant something.

A tangent but we never get to hear much about reparations for the native Americans. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee bought that history to life for me but that was written over 40 years ago and still little seems to have changed.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:

The issue as to whether a black man could play Bond is the same as whether a white man can play Othello or a gentile Shylock.

Not quite the same. White actors haven't been prevented from playing white parts.
quote:

.Shakespeare would say, I think, that it relates to an actor's abiility to think himself/ herself into the part. A more tricky question is whether a white Othello should "black up".

Ye Gods, no! *

quote:

If a white person can play Othello then black actors can play white men or women.

Or, to reference the Bard, women play men.

*Though, to be honest, his performance was such an offence to acting that the blacking up was almost secondary.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
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Latest female inroads into Shakespeare and All Female is a thing.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Enoch
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The point about Othello is that his identity as a Moor is critical to the plot. It would become an issue whether a black actor would need to white-up if he or she were playing a part where their being white was likewise critical to the plot, such as if there were a stage version of Guess who's coming to dinner and a black actor were to be playing one of the characters who are specifically white in the plot.


Tangent alert

I usually dislike transposing drama into inconsistent settings. I normally find attempts to set Shakespeare in different times or dress not excitingly creative but just plain irritating. Likewise female Hamlets. Let the plot tell the story, and don't get in the way.

However, there was a version of Julius Caesar set in a modern African state broadcast here on television a few years ago which I thought both worked and was excellent. The actors were all black, and I think mainly British. The acting was extremely good. It wouldn't have worked if it hadn't been. I also thought they caught the accents and nuances of modern African elites pretty well.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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