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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Swing low, sweet chariot - cultural appropriation? (Page 5)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Swing low, sweet chariot - cultural appropriation?
lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Latest female inroads into Shakespeare and All Female is a thing.

Jengie

It won't be balanced until it ceases being considered newsworthy.

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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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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:

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.

Because Elizabethan theatre never mixed up actors and genders. Oh wait. Because the European tradition was not of constant reinterpretation of classic texts. Oh wait.

Come back when you know even the basics of what you are talking about.

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arse

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Because Elizabethan theatre never mixed up actors and genders. Oh wait. Because the European tradition was not of constant reinterpretation of classic texts. Oh wait.

Come back when you know even the basics of what you are talking about.

Wow, Mr Cheesy. I seem to have caught a raw nerve there.

Of course I know that there were no women on the Elizabethan stage, that actresses only came in with the Restoration. I also know that Shakespeare had a penchant for including people disguising themselves as members of the opposite sex.

Whether he, or the Elizabethan audience, got a kinky thrill from this, neither you, nor I, nor anyone else really knows, I think they probably did, but I can no more answer that than you can.

Likewise, though we know quite a lot now about Shakespeare's life as an impresario, we still know next to nothing about the 'inner bard'. I suspect that research may have got as far as it can ever get on that one. The rest is conjecture and projection.

What I was actually saying, is that I have a very strong personal preference both for directors and performers who do not stick themselves in between me and the work. As far as I'm concerned, if a performance doesn't temporarily suspend my awareness that these aren't real events going on in front of me, if it doesn't make a significant part of me forget that this is produced by X, or that the hero and heroine are famous actors Y or Z or that this is or isn't a challenging and exciting reinterpretation, a symbolic set or whatever, then IMHO it's a poorer production than one that does succeed in that. It may not be your view, but it is mine. You are entitled to your view, but likewise I am entitled to mine. But mine is a legitimate position, both intellectually and artistically.

I wouldn't personally be very interested in the Mouse Trap done as Noh. It would be like gefillte fish, an enormous amount of effort put into wrecking perfectly good ingredients which were better without the effort. But each to his or her own.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
people would have the right to claim anything they like.

Another person can claim hurt sensitivities and feelings over something I say that they think I don't understand because I haven't had their (or their identity group's) experience, and I can do exactly the same thing in response to something that someone says to me.

What neither of us has the right to do, is use this to attempt to close down the discussion, and avoid other, and possibly far more germane, considerations.

quote:
An activity deprecated by many moralists not least our Lord.
Spiritual blackmail, anyone?

Actually, our Lord himself was extremely and publicly critical of others - in particular, self-righteous, moralistic Pharisees.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
people would have the right to claim anything they like.

Another person can claim hurt sensitivities and feelings over something I say that they think I don't understand because I haven't had their (or their identity group's) experience, and I can do exactly the same thing in response to something that someone says to me.

What neither of us has the right to do, is use this to attempt to close down the discussion, and avoid other, and possibly far more germane, considerations.

All the terms I highlighted in my first post - "a bluff which must always be called", "needs to be called out for the irrational and dishonest bullshit that it is", and "completely unacceptable" - are attempts to close down the discussion. That's my point.
Especially if you insist on mischaracterising the arguments you object to as being about sensitivities and feelings.

quote:
quote:
An activity deprecated by many moralists not least our Lord.
Spiritual blackmail, anyone?

Actually, our Lord himself was extremely and publicly critical of others - in particular, self-righteous, moralistic Pharisees.

Is the phrase 'spiritual blackmail' itself not an attempt to shut down discussion?
We could have argued about when criticism of other people is or is not self-righteous and moralistic. You decided to close the discussion down.

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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 Enoch:
The point about Othello is that his identity as a Moor is critical to the plot.

And yet a Moor is not automatically black. There is a debate about that. The only thing that is relatively certain is that he wouldn't have been white.
quote:
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,

Funny thing: almost all roles black people have played were written for black people. Whether or not the character or story required it. And most characters white people have played are generic, able to be played by anyone. However, black people have almost never been considered for these.

--------------------
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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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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When I was in middle school, the lead in our spring musical was an especially talented African American girl. The musical was "The Flower Drum Song" set in San Francisco Chinatown. She did not wear any make-up to change the look of her ethnicity and that was just fine with everyone. We just immersed ourselves in the story.

Another interesting production I saw more recently was of "The Magic Flute" styled on silent era movies. Everyone wore white-face. Really, really white face to give the illusion of black and white film. This included the romantic leads who were African American, and the traditionally Moorish villain who was reincarnated as Nosferatu. I didn't even realize there was a particular difference in the cast's ethnicities until I saw the pictures of the artists in the program notes.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Moo

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# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Funny thing: almost all roles black people have played were written for black people. Whether or not the character or story required it. And most characters white people have played are generic, able to be played by anyone. However, black people have almost never been considered for these.

The American Shakespeare Company did a production of Twelfth Night where Viola and Sebastian, who are twins and supposedly hard to tell apart, were played by a white woman and a black man.

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Martin60
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Ah, but did the black guy play Viola?

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Love wins

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Stetson
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Enoch wrote:

quote:
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.

The thing is, education and media being what they were in the Elizabethan era, it's quite unlikely that Shakespeare had much accurate knowledge of any of the non-English locales he wrote about, and was in most cases just creating settings that were basically just the England of his day. (eg. in A Midsummer Night's Dream, set in pre-Christian Athens, people use the name "Mary" as an oath.)

Not that this makes any particular contemporary transposition good or bad, just that, in a lot of cases, the inconsistent setting was there right from the start.

[ 19. March 2017, 15:29: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
All the terms I highlighted in my first post - "a bluff which must always be called", "needs to be called out for the irrational and dishonest bullshit that it is", and "completely unacceptable" - are attempts to close down the discussion.

No, they are clearing away dead wood so that meaningful discussion can proceed.

quote:
Is the phrase 'spiritual blackmail' itself not an attempt to shut down discussion?
It is the fact of practising it, not the phrase naming it, which represents an attempt to "shut down discussion".

quote:

We could have argued about when criticism of other people is or is not self-righteous and moralistic. You decided to close the discussion down.

You had, and still have, every opportunity to explore why you think Jesus both condemned criticism and engaged in it himself.
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