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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:53 pm 
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Rose, I've been noodling over that for a while myself. There's a line between appropriation and exchange but no one seems to have a consensus on where it is. With the backstory, I wouldn't say Ariana Grande's tattoo crossed the line. She sought advice and instruction from a willing source, after all.

Here's another head-scratcher. Last year, American-style pancakes were trending in Belgrade...as a dessert. I'm pretty sure that what happened was someone in the local food industry either moved back to Serbia or visited the US and brought a recipe with them and then made a dessert out of them because they're pretty sweet. The restaurants selling them did them up with ice cream. And, to be fair, maple syrup is pretty much unobtainable over there. And I know that "ethnic" foods get tweaked for local palettes. For example, the Argentinian place near me spices things up more than is typical for Argentine cuisine because Americans like it better that way. But my head about fell off anyway. It was looking at a piece of my childhood in a funhouse mirror.

I made some pancakes for my in-laws. They can't afford to eat at those kinds of restaurants. We'd brought them some maple syrup previously so we had the American pancakes in the American style: for breakfast, with syrup.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:57 am 
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River, I recall seeing a recipe (probably on YouTube or perhaps on a TV cooking show) discussing the various things other cultures have done with pancakes. I wish I could specifically remember what it was I watched, but I seem to recall someone making a savory dish with pancakes. I don't think it was the Japanese Okonomiyaki, because I'm familiar with that dish and I think I would have remembered it. The Japanese also make a 'pancake' that is almost like a small cake--several inches thick! (I have to figure out how to include images, I used to do it... but nothing seems to work ..)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:36 am 
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Serbs do a savory pancake. It's a crepe filled with meat and cheese. People eat them for lunch or a snack. The sweet ones are either a snack or a dessert. Which is why our sweet, fluffy things also get served as a dessert.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:52 am 
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Everyone does a pancake, lbr

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:12 am 
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elengil wrote:
This is only my opinion based on very few facts, but also an understanding of how hurting people sometimes act.

I think what he did was see all the ways in which black people are hurt by racism in this society. He saw the way people like him are treated, no matter if they’re TV stars or 14 yr old children playing, or a family just trying to enjoy an afternoon BBQ.

He saw that and got angry. He got angry because of all the times he knows he’s been treated worse just because he was black.

And whether he got the idea from somewhere, or whether it came up over drinks when everything bad seems like a good idea, or whether it was just all that frustration and anger finally boiling over - he decided that why not, for once, let racism work in his favor?

Why not finally benefit from this thing that causes so much hurt?

Why not get a little of his own back at last?

So he decided to try to stage an event in which he thought by using all that racism out there, and all that push-back against it, maybe he could finally get a leg-up.

That’s what I think happened. He isn’t ill, he probably doesn’t think of himself as dishonest or as having hurt others. He just wanted to use it to his benefit for once.


This makes him sound like a psychotic narcissist. Finally get a leg-up? He was a successful actor making a lot of money.

The bottom line is he exploited racism to advance his career. ( Assuming the charges are true. )

If Smollet really understood how painful racism is, how painful it was to read or see or hear about other people suffering from it, then how depraved does he have to be to add to that pain with this hoax?

Perhaps he thought his inspiring battle against racism would erase the ugly incident he created.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:45 am 
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If the charges are true (and while it seems like there is a lot evidence against him, I have heard enough to give me pause), then I think he is a psychotic narcissist.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:02 pm 
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(If the charges are true) I think it's curious that he took so few pains to cover his tracks. So my speculation (having been read the tweet he sent about the administration prior to the event) is that he thought he was arranging a lesson for the country, and thought that his actions would be celebrated as shedding light on the truth. In his mind, it didn't matter that the attack wasn't real, because it was a demonstration of the truth. That doesn't explain his bald-faced lying in interviews, though (if the charges are true).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:25 pm 
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RoseMorninStar wrote:
River wrote:
He pretty much screwed everyone who falls victim to a hate crime from this point on.


And that is the real problem. People that do things like that hurt those who are real victims of crime/discrimination/sexual assault. :(


An interesting twist on the subject of cultural appropriation: recently Arianna Grande (whom I don't follow, so forgive me if I don't get this right) got a new tattoo on her hand. She has been learning Japanese and wanted a tattoo in Japanese for one of her new songs, '7 Rings'. She had asked her Japanese instructor before getting the tattoo but evidently, the translation went wrong and it reads something more akin to 'small Japanese BBQ grill'. There was an uproar and shaming on American social media about cultural appropriation, but the Japanese were puzzled and don't understand the outrage. At all.

We have had 4 Japanese exchange students and my daughter spent a summer in Japan. From my experiences, the Japanese are THRILLED when anyone appreciates their culture enough to attempt to learn more or embrace their culture. They are ecstatic if you've taken the time to learn how to use chopsticks. They love (speaking in general) that the world has embraced anime/manga/parts of their culture. Those (Japanese) whose comments I read were confused. They were wondering if the horrible, horrible 'English' (and probably French) translations they have on Japanese products everywhere are considered offensive cultural appropriation. They consider imitation to be flattering. I found this to be an interesting point of view.


I think it’s important to understand the feelings of a diaspora is going to be very different from the home country’s feelings as their experiences will be vastly different.

I have seen people use feelings of the home country to invalidate the feelings of the diaspora, which at the very least very ignorant.

I read earlier that I was mentioned, and yes, I have never been accused of cultural appropriation. And no, it’s not because I am black (I am in a POC cosplay group on FB, and there are many places where POC have been accused). There have been plenty of Africans who accuse African Americans of cultural appropriation.

One big thing I do is, I follow what the Japanese do. I don’t try and “invent” something and make it about me. I also speak with people who are Japanese and of the Japanese diaspora their opinions. To me, as someone who is not Japanese, but wants to help the kimono industry, I had to understand that I have a responsibility when I wear kimono. What I do affects the Japanese people in my community.

I also make a point of working with Japanese people. I can tell you right now there are a whole lot of people who wear kimono correctly, but do not care one iota about Japanese people. (I was even asked to be an advisor for one English language kimono group as things got so bad the group was shut down for a few days.)

Cultural appropriation is a many faceted issue and privilege and fragility are big aspects of it. To me sharing and appropriation are 2 very very different things. A friend of mine did a short write up of cultural appropriation, I should dig it up.




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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:11 am 
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I'm glad to see you weigh in here!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:14 pm 
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And in the latest twist in the Jussie Smollett saga, all charges against him have been dropped. His attorneys and the authorities are putting a different spin on it. Frankly, at this point, I don't know what to think.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/arts ... Q6b4Ivv3_k

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:21 pm 
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That certainly is puzzling. It sounds like they aren't saying he didn't plan the fake attack, but they aren't prosecuting because he's a good guy and donated his $100,000 to the city.

It would be interesting to know the real reason they're dropping the charges, but I don't suppose we ever will.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:03 pm 
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$10,000, if I'm reading it correctly. Maybe their case was sort of weak on some technical detail anyway, plus what you said.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:09 pm 
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This is a situation where everyone involved has their reasons to make the claims they are making. It would be good to know what is true, especially if Smolett really is innocent. Will we?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:10 pm 
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I heard that it’s suspected the police bungled the case. Considering the “leaks” were so frequent, it could be an indicator of how they conducted the rest of their investigation. A defence attorney could drive an oil tanker through the prosecution.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:22 pm 
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I had assumed, knowing nothing of these things, that the decision would have been a collective one between the prosecution and mayor's office, but Rahm Emanuel is very angry about the dropping of the charges, as is that police person who made such an eloquent statement when the story was breaking.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:33 pm 
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After reading Emanuel's statement, all I've got to say is his command of the English language puts him in a class with greats such as George W. Bush and Donald Trump. Of course, his outrage over an alleged miscarriage of justice takes him right back out again.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:37 pm 
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So they do think he's guilty, but that two days of community service and a $10,000 fine are a fitting punishment.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:44 pm 
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Or that that's the "best" punishment they're going to get, given the procedural errors they made handling the case.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:52 pm 
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I heard something interesting on the podcast "Codeswitch" from NPR. They stated that the 6 pillars of culture are language, religion, music, art, social habits, and food. (I would add land ties to that list.) The podcast went on to discuss why the loss of one or more facets of a person's culture can lead that person to feel less a part of the culture. They gave the example of a Chinese American woman who, due to dietary restrictions, could not indulge in traditional Chinese foods and felt less Chinese because of it. I know I certainly feel more Tlingit when I speak Lingít, sing and drum traditional songs, eat salmon, make art, paddle a canoe, camp in the forest, listen to stories that demonstrate an underlying world view, morality and ettiquite, and learn protocol from elders. (The latter is a little more difficult to tease out, as most of our elders are mixed Tlingit, other native tribes, Hawaiian, Latinx, and Philipino, and many had their Native culture beaten out of them by boarding schools).

Which got me to thinking about how mainstream American culture has absorbed everything it fancies from other cultures and is an unabashed mishmash. What, exactly, is "American culture"? Is part of being an American the bull headed tendancy to appropriate other cultures?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:15 pm 
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What, exactly, is "American culture"? Is part of being an American the bull headed tendancy to appropriate other cultures?


To be fair, we got that from Europe...

But I don't disagree. I realize America does have a culture, but to "average white American" me, it feels like I don't sometimes. Or rather, I don't have anything that is specifically American that doesn't come from somewhere else, and yes I know it isn't true, but we are speaking of feeling part of a culture...

Part of that feeling is probably due to the (forcible or otherwise) export of our culture (language, religion, music, art, social habits, and food) to everywhere else. We 'make' everyone speak English, we largely don't learn second languages. We export our religion in the form of missionaries, and if you throw in holidays we'e even absorbed and regurgitated things like Halloween, Christmas (Yule), and New Years across the globe.

We export our music, our movies and tv, and our books (art), we've lost most of our dances (high-schooler's don't go to sock-hops or do the gitterbug anymore. Even square dancing is largely relegated to older generations). We export our food (McDonalds and KFC). I would say social habits are about the only thing that stays more or less put, but that's largely becoming anti-social habits! A tendency to become more and more isolated.

The result is it gives this sensation that we don't have anything that's our own. We don't have anything that is uniquely and specially American that isn't from somewhere else or practiced somewhere else. And we largely don't do any of it as part of large social groups which bind us together.

I'm not saying none of this happens at all anywhere, just not on a national scale, not as something we point to and say "That's what makes us "US". That's what makes us not anyone else"!

And no, I am not in any way equating this feeling with the actual forcible loss of culture that the US government imposed on the Native Americans, or the bigoted push-back on immigrants practicing their home cultures. I am always delighted when I hear about those who are able to recapture their roots - South Dakota just became the third state to officially recognize the indigenous languages! I love learning about things like the Navajo cultural resurgence and the benefit it brings to their nation's people and children.

It's more like I feel I don't even have a culture to reconnect with. I'm Irish and Swedish, but I'm neither Irish nor Swedish, right? I have absolutely no real connection to those cultures - I wasn't raised in them, I don't really know anything about them beyond the bare superficial, no matter what my DNA says. I'm American... but I can't even tell you what that means. Because it largely feels like it doesn't mean anything from a cultural perspective.

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