Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
DharmaN00b
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:12 pm

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by DharmaN00b » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:23 pm

Have you wondered if the modern day Santa gives a bad name to Saint Nick? The Sinterklaasfeest was charity to the poor and now Santa is about as tightly knit as a string vest. :shrug:

User avatar
justsit
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by justsit » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:51 pm

PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:53 am
Much could be said about the absurdity of these people's views. Maybe there's a serious point hiding underneath that. Why did the whole topic of identify politics become so important to that generation at that point in time? A few decades ago it was either a non-issue, or it was about civil rights. What changed about the world that made it so important for younger people to want to affirm and defend their group identify?
I'm not sure, but maybe it has to do with social media.

I spend some time on a non-Buddhism related crafting website with 8 million+ members, frequented mostly by women, most under the age of 45. The themes that repeatedly appear in discussion fora are social anxiety (rampant), fear of being judged by others, social isolation, depression. They seem to be so overwhelmed with the onslaught of social media telling them what's cool, what's right and wrong, etc., ad infinitum, that they have trouble figuring who they are in the world and how they fit in. That process of learning "to adult" seems to take until at least age 25, or more. Many have few or no "real life" friends. Many seem desperate to fit in somewhere, have some sort of connection to others, and finding others online who are just like themselves seems to be the answer. They apply narrower and narrower labels to themselves until they're stuck in tiny boxes.

Just an observation I'm throwing out here, could be off base. In any case, it's kind of sad, really.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 10423
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:17 pm

Maybe it would help to back up a little, not that I have really paid all that much attention to any of it.

When I was in college, critical theory was the big thing. That's what those punky intellectual kids were into. People who took identities very seriously and had a deliberate (labored) idealistic sense of giving voice to previously "silenced" groups (or more realistically, a voice in the academy; there's a whole big discussion that could be had about what is and what is not acknowledged in the academy, and what that means for legitimacy in that particular perspective... which for the people in it is all encompassing. Its most definitely a bubble.)

I never quite related to all that, but I suppose someone has to identify the issue and then deliberately try to remediate.

In stressing the need for people's "authentic" voices to be heard, there's this notion that judgment has to be suspended.

I think this whole protest against appropriation has to do with the pushback against the dilution of those previously silenced voices.

And then the ideas disseminated out from the circle of egg heads out to regular folk who have not been steeped in the underlying theories. Basically, it gets dumbed down, and then used as a rhetorical weapon in class warfare of sorts.

I'd say to these kids... go out and get laid. Go f*ck each other, get to know each other IRL. A lot of these hangups dissolve when you drop your defenses and try to flow. Not every moment is demanding your vigilant protest.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Dan74
Former staff member
Posts: 3034
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Switzerland

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Dan74 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:00 pm

justsit wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:51 pm
PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:53 am
Much could be said about the absurdity of these people's views. Maybe there's a serious point hiding underneath that. Why did the whole topic of identify politics become so important to that generation at that point in time? A few decades ago it was either a non-issue, or it was about civil rights. What changed about the world that made it so important for younger people to want to affirm and defend their group identify?
I'm not sure, but maybe it has to do with social media.

I spend some time on a non-Buddhism related crafting website with 8 million+ members, frequented mostly by women, most under the age of 45. The themes that repeatedly appear in discussion fora are social anxiety (rampant), fear of being judged by others, social isolation, depression. They seem to be so overwhelmed with the onslaught of social media telling them what's cool, what's right and wrong, etc., ad infinitum, that they have trouble figuring who they are in the world and how they fit in. That process of learning "to adult" seems to take until at least age 25, or more. Many have few or no "real life" friends. Many seem desperate to fit in somewhere, have some sort of connection to others, and finding others online who are just like themselves seems to be the answer. They apply narrower and narrower labels to themselves until they're stuck in tiny boxes.

Just an observation I'm throwing out here, could be off base. In any case, it's kind of sad, really.
Very interesting. I work with adolescents (teacher) and I wonder if they are in the grips of the early stage of this process, though here in Switzerland, this dynamics is probably not quite as advanced as in the USA.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 11003
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:30 pm

PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:54 am


True. For all the talk of 'intersectionality' (which honestly I don't really understand), there doesn't seem to be much sense of a common cause: rather there seems to be a sense that each group's grievance is their exclusive property, and others are not entitled to have any opinion about it. But then again I might have romanticized notions of solidarity. The letter from Birmingham jail has harsh words on those lines.
I think the whole intersectionality thing is way again, of decreasing the importance of class, or kind of intellectually obscuring unfair, exploitative economic relationships. Talk long enough with someone who is zealous about these ideas and you notice something fascinating, while they can see "intersections", they can't see the big picture at all. In fact, they eschew the notion of a big picture or common good. They also have an ideology which has been adopted by the corporate world, "diversity" and anti-oppression lite are part of the workplace landscape for all kinds of oppressive work situations now. So here you have people being taught about all the oppression that can happen between "employees", but the boss is left out of discussion. I remember having one teacher who subscribed to these views fairly militantly..but then had no problem whatsoever with Jeff Bezos and sort of idolized him. Sort of amazing in WA state, where the effects of things like Amazon not paying taxes and siphoning from the community are obvious - including the effects on "communities of color" that she was concerned with. In fact, -especially- on communities of color. It's like she was entirely blind to this connection.
I was at a lecture by Germaine Greer once (when I was young and foolish). During the Q&A, someone asked her - you have a lot to say about oppression of women in society, but how does that relate to oppression more broadly by the class system? Are you a socialist? She gave a rather blunt answer saying, feminism is a big enough issue, I don't have time to understand all the facets of socialism. A sizeable segment of the audience made their displeasure evident at that point. I wonder how that discussion would have gone down today. A disabled/PoC/trans/non-straight/immigrant/whatever feminist would have probably have denounced Greer because her white privilege prevents her from understanding the true nature of oppression, or something similar, rather than recognizing that they actually have a lot of common ground. Maybe that's it - the willingness to prioritize the differences over the commonalities in their causes?
IME younger people don't even have a notion of commonalities in causes, it's actually considered a faux pas to (for example again) support Black Lives Matter because you believe that not only are Black communities oppressed, but their oppression is part of a larger economic system. Basically, you can only support a cause that's "not yours" out of guilt or some sense that you are culpable for it. Sounds crazy, but it's what I've run into with twenty-somethings I've discussed this stuff with.

I don't expect everyone on the left to be a militant socialist, I don't fit that bill myself, but really the left of today has been neutered by this stuff IMO. The sense of justice and some form equality (we can debate which kind) as being a common good is simply not there. Or to be more accurate, the liberal identity politics left sees oppressive power relationships only in a "cultural" sense, but not in an economic one.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 11003
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:31 pm

justsit wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:51 pm
PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:53 am
Much could be said about the absurdity of these people's views. Maybe there's a serious point hiding underneath that. Why did the whole topic of identify politics become so important to that generation at that point in time? A few decades ago it was either a non-issue, or it was about civil rights. What changed about the world that made it so important for younger people to want to affirm and defend their group identify?
I'm not sure, but maybe it has to do with social media.

I spend some time on a non-Buddhism related crafting website with 8 million+ members, frequented mostly by women, most under the age of 45. The themes that repeatedly appear in discussion fora are social anxiety (rampant), fear of being judged by others, social isolation, depression. They seem to be so overwhelmed with the onslaught of social media telling them what's cool, what's right and wrong, etc., ad infinitum, that they have trouble figuring who they are in the world and how they fit in. That process of learning "to adult" seems to take until at least age 25, or more. Many have few or no "real life" friends. Many seem desperate to fit in somewhere, have some sort of connection to others, and finding others online who are just like themselves seems to be the answer. They apply narrower and narrower labels to themselves until they're stuck in tiny boxes.

Just an observation I'm throwing out here, could be off base. In any case, it's kind of sad, really.
I've noticed this exact thing. Combine this with the fact that people have to live with the parents longer for economic reasons, and it means that "adulting" starts more around the early 30's these days, including "adult level" emotional maturity in some cases, though certainly not all.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

Malcolm
Posts: 31836
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:35 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:30 pm

I don't expect everyone on the left to be a militant socialist, I don't fit that bill myself, but really the left of today has been neutered by this stuff IMO. The sense of justice and some form equality (we can debate which kind) as being a common good is simply not there. Or to be more accurate, the liberal identity politics left sees oppressive power relationships only in a "cultural" sense, but not in an economic one.
There is no Left left in America. Why? Because there is no coherent workers movement. Liberal, bourgeois intellectual fads are not "Left" at all.

tkp67
Posts: 1674
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:43 pm

Since the industrial age growing human population has added new pressures influence on itself both in terms of society and physiology.

Anything from BPA presence in cellular life, prozac in the water tables or differences in cultivar nutrient/microbiological content can be noted.

Now think about how human interaction has changed from less than a few generations ago when most people didn't travel but a few miles from their birth place. Within a few lifetimes we have gone from tribal to virtual where minds can potentially communicate in unison effecting all societies.

Depending on age you might recall all these times distinctly having experienced them. Yet what percentage of the population has not because they were born into a technology age? So many people simple don't see the world from the same "lens" (paradigm). Their view might simply be very relative.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 11003
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:35 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:30 pm

I don't expect everyone on the left to be a militant socialist, I don't fit that bill myself, but really the left of today has been neutered by this stuff IMO. The sense of justice and some form equality (we can debate which kind) as being a common good is simply not there. Or to be more accurate, the liberal identity politics left sees oppressive power relationships only in a "cultural" sense, but not in an economic one.
There is no Left left in America. Why? Because there is no coherent workers movement. Liberal, bourgeois intellectual fads are not "Left" at all.
Point taken.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

Malcolm
Posts: 31836
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:20 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:43 pm


Depending on age you might recall all these times distinctly having experienced them. Yet what percentage of the population has not because they were born into a technology age? So many people simple don't see the world from the same "lens" (paradigm). Their view might simply be very relative.
Most people on the planet still are not in the technological age. This is mostly a first world problem.

User avatar
Virgo
Former staff member
Posts: 3825
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Uni-verse

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Virgo » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:20 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:43 pm


Depending on age you might recall all these times distinctly having experienced them. Yet what percentage of the population has not because they were born into a technology age? So many people simple don't see the world from the same "lens" (paradigm). Their view might simply be very relative.
Most people on the planet still are not in the technological age. This is mostly a first world problem.
This is absolutely true. Most people on the planet are not yet in the technological age. For Americans, we entered a special period in 2012.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... on/534198/

Virgo

tkp67
Posts: 1674
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:20 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:43 pm


Depending on age you might recall all these times distinctly having experienced them. Yet what percentage of the population has not because they were born into a technology age? So many people simple don't see the world from the same "lens" (paradigm). Their view might simply be very relative.
Most people on the planet still are not in the technological age. This is mostly a first world problem.
It is estimated that over 60% of the worlds population has a smart phone. FWIW Industrial/technological impact mentioned are felt by all. 3rd world is far from immune of the costs of technology as well. Or the benefits and it seems intent and desire go a long way to shaping outcome.

The Times They Are A-Changin' - Dylan

DharmaN00b
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:12 pm

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by DharmaN00b » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:22 pm

As first world people-and primates- we've swapped out a high level of independence (law of the jungle) and exchanged this with reciprocal 'altruism'. All our clothes beds vehicles etc are lovingly produced by others, if you have the heart and stomach to appreciate our contemporary division of labour !

The level of dependency we now experience seems to have spiraled out of control so much so that less and less people have useful skills to trade in an extreme depression- due (at least partly) to advanced automation- let alone go off grid. What many people have currently is a false sense of security and feel 'independent', which is a far-cry from living with the wolves; (akin to a feral existence).

You may have heard the expression: "you can take a person out of the jungle but you cannot take the jungle out of the person?" Well, the extreme individualistic predatory aspect seems to be embedded more in corporate circles, and copied by the aspiring poor... or at the very least endorsed by all and sundry.

Tribalism is obviously still very much alive and contains within less desirable aspects, but kept in check there are levels of reciprocal dependence, bonding and other fun stuff like people dressing different but really all being a bunch of normies. :twothumbsup:

EDIT: I'd also like to give a thumbs up to the high gestation periods some of us are now experiencing. While this may be counter-productive for those born with a silver spoon it may be useful to keep people as brains in jars to maybe extend longevity or at the very least to reduce environmental footprint. Speaking from experience getting thrown into the wild can do as much harm as good. It's really a high value wild card, with advancements in geo-engineering, general protection of our species is concerned. (AND of course a net reduction in suffering!
Last edited by DharmaN00b on Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Malcolm
Posts: 31836
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:33 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:51 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:20 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:43 pm


Depending on age you might recall all these times distinctly having experienced them. Yet what percentage of the population has not because they were born into a technology age? So many people simple don't see the world from the same "lens" (paradigm). Their view might simply be very relative.
Most people on the planet still are not in the technological age. This is mostly a first world problem.
It is estimated that over 60% of the worlds population has a smart phone. FWIW Industrial/technological impact mentioned are felt by all. 3rd world is far from immune of the costs of technology as well. Or the benefits and it seems intent and desire go a long way to shaping outcome.
Having a smart phone does not mean one is living in the grip of technological civilization. Many people have smart phones in places where many of the capabilities of smart phones cannot be harnessed due to lack of infrastructure and so on. Technology is something into which one must be embedded, economically and socially.

There are approximately 5 billion people with mobile devices, and approx 3 billion have smart phones, mainly in Europe, North America, and Asia. World population is 7.7 billion. So this is about 38.97%, not 60. Thus, most people are not living it large with Apple, Google, and Facebook.

User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2090
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Cultural Appropriation - Split from Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PeterC » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:19 am

Actually that makes the situation sound better than it really is. In a number of developing countries when people say “on the internet” they actually mean “on Facebook” because it’s so pervasive among those who have a smartphone. The goal of facebook in these places is for them to skip the multi-service stage altogether and go straight to a walled garden in which they dominate information discovery and delivery.

One of the great truisms of samsara: however bad things look, they could always be worse.

humble.student
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by humble.student » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:27 am

PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:14 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:57 am

One of my favorites is someone complaining about cultural appropriation of Banh Mi sandwiches, heh.
That is ridiculous

Presumably the person complaining has never lived in either Vietnam or France?
Said person is presumably also ignorant of the fact that the baguette comes from Austria originally.

User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2090
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PeterC » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:14 am

humble.student wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:27 am
PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:14 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:57 am

One of my favorites is someone complaining about cultural appropriation of Banh Mi sandwiches, heh.
That is ridiculous

Presumably the person complaining has never lived in either Vietnam or France?
Said person is presumably also ignorant of the fact that the baguette comes from Austria originally.
Really? I’m sure there was some kind of bread stick, but the French-style baguette, with its warm, crisp exterior and lightly fluffy snow-white interior, the ephemeral baguette that somehow doesn’t quite taste freshly-baked if you leave it for an hour or so - were the Austrians ever capable of producing such a thing?

humble.student
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by humble.student » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:18 am

PeterC wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:14 am
humble.student wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:27 am
PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:14 am


That is ridiculous

Presumably the person complaining has never lived in either Vietnam or France?
Said person is presumably also ignorant of the fact that the baguette comes from Austria originally.
Really? I’m sure there was some kind of bread stick, but the French-style baguette, with its warm, crisp exterior and lightly fluffy snow-white interior, the ephemeral baguette that somehow doesn’t quite taste freshly-baked if you leave it for an hour or so - were the Austrians ever capable of producing such a thing?
IMO, a lot more interesting than cultural appropriation is the reason behind what you stated: the baguette is deliberately designed to go stale faster than an ordinary loaf of bread, thereby increasing consumption. (It is also easier and faster to make than other types of bread.)

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 11003
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:28 am

humble.student wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:27 am
PeterC wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:14 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:57 am

One of my favorites is someone complaining about cultural appropriation of Banh Mi sandwiches, heh.
That is ridiculous

Presumably the person complaining has never lived in either Vietnam or France?
Said person is presumably also ignorant of the fact that the baguette comes from Austria originally.
Indeed I was, but that only bolsters my point.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2090
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PeterC » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:03 am

humble.student wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:18 am
PeterC wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:14 am
humble.student wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:27 am


Said person is presumably also ignorant of the fact that the baguette comes from Austria originally.
Really? I’m sure there was some kind of bread stick, but the French-style baguette, with its warm, crisp exterior and lightly fluffy snow-white interior, the ephemeral baguette that somehow doesn’t quite taste freshly-baked if you leave it for an hour or so - were the Austrians ever capable of producing such a thing?
IMO, a lot more interesting than cultural appropriation is the reason behind what you stated: the baguette is deliberately designed to go stale faster than an ordinary loaf of bread, thereby increasing consumption. (It is also easier and faster to make than other types of bread.)
I don’t think there was a committee of evil French bakers quoting Voltaire as they thought up clever ways to stimulate consumption. I think it’s just that it tastes better that way compared to breads with longer shelf life.

Post Reply

Return to “Lounge”