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

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
humble.student
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by humble.student »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: 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

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.
Hi Johnny: just to confirm, were you actually talking about yourself in the third person? :?
PeterC wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:03 am 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.
Worse: a committee of government bureaucrats, although I forget where I read that.
User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2635
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PeterC »

humble.student wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:53 am
PeterC wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:03 am 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.
Worse: a committee of government bureaucrats, although I forget where I read that.
Hmmm. I’m finding that a little hard to believe. It really is a black art - I’m not joking on that. There are places that have imported ovens, flour, bakers, and somehow it still doesn’t come out tasting the same. There isn’t much I like about French cuisine - for instance they way they prepare meat by first killing the animal by drowning it in butter - but the humble baguette is one of the great mysteries of the culinary world.
tkp67
Posts: 2086
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

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

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: 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

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.
Technology does not have to be embedded to have impact. 3rd world countries are suffering from climate change even though they aren't contributing to that dynamic. Web sites are a but a part of the picture. There have found BPA in the Himilayans/alps. Electronics trash is sent to Africa. It is quite the comprehensive list.

I can gladly provide references and I can unpack the impact of the tech/industrial footprint as well.

Regards
humble.student
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by humble.student »

PeterC wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:02 pm
humble.student wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:53 am
PeterC wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:03 am 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.
Worse: a committee of government bureaucrats, although I forget where I read that.
Hmmm. I’m finding that a little hard to believe. It really is a black art - I’m not joking on that. There are places that have imported ovens, flour, bakers, and somehow it still doesn’t come out tasting the same. There isn’t much I like about French cuisine - for instance they way they prepare meat by first killing the animal by drowning it in butter - but the humble baguette is one of the great mysteries of the culinary world.
I am quite serious, I will check this out, for the sake of completion. [Ok, the Bread Decree of 1993 regulates the ingredients and standards, but I am quite sure there were other regulations from the 60s or 70s which sought to promote the baguette over the round loaves, which lasted longer.]

I can't say I have ever heard of animals being drowned in butter, other than as a culinary exaggeration (or did you mean ducks and geese for foie gras?), although there is an endangered species of bird, the ortolan, which is traditionally drowned in brandy, set alight, and eaten whole. Mitterand's favourite dish, and last meal, supposedly. He had it banned, tellingly enough, but didn't see fit to abide by his own rules.
User avatar
Nemo
Posts: 1546
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

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

Post by Nemo »

I don't think you can culturally appropriate a dominant culture. It's more of a garnish on shitty colonialist or neocolonialist behavior. There is a difference between sharing and taking while you have your boot on someones throat.

Imagine we lived in a peaceful Buddhist land that was happy but not terribly technologically advanced. Then settlers came and through murder with more advanced weapons and biological warfare eliminated 90% of us. They gave the few of us that remained really shitty land to live on and refused to treat us like humans or even vote for a century.

So now it's an advanced technological culture and we are remembered only as stereotypes. Christians always play Buddhists on TV and the portrayals are confusing and stupid. We are only comic relief or sidekicks. There is a sports team in you town called the Toronto BudaBudas. It has a mascot with slanty eyes and a farmers cone shaped hat. His catch phrase is Namo Buda Buda Save Me So HA! and on the HA! he does a karate chop. The entire stadium chants with him chopping frantically when the home team is losing.

Would you find this insensitive and offensive?
Last edited by Nemo on Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
SonamTashi
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:30 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by SonamTashi »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: 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.
I'm 26 and I've never really seen any of these things discussed in real life--but I'm probably in my own bubble. Either way, I think the internet makes these issues appear way bigger than they are. Not that there aren't people sincerely saying these things because there probably are, but I think most of this kind of content online can be sourced back to either satire or right wing trolls. For example, subreddits that track these kinds of things, i.e. /r/cringeanarchy, are well known for developing large subscriber bases consisting of Nazis, White Supremacists and other Fascists, as well as for posting fake content. Part of the problem is this kind of behavior compounds itself. It is Poe's Law in action. No matter whether the content is originally satire or a troll, on the internet many people will believe it is real.

People who actually believe it in real life aren't part of the left (they're actually often referred to as Radical Liberals/Rad-Libs). None of the Anarchists, Communists or Socialists I speak with say these kinds of things, and most of them are young. This kind of thing is just liberalism cloaked in leftish language. Btw, it probably doesn't mean anything but I haven't actually seen most of these things discussed in quite a while even online until I saw this thread. Perhaps it is starting to die out. More likely I've bubbled myself away from that.

Edit: Actually one recent thing this all reminds me of is the "cancelling" of Contrapoints.
:bow: :buddha1: :bow: :anjali: :meditate:
User avatar
Nemo
Posts: 1546
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Nemo »

SonamTashi wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:02 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: 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.
I'm 26 and I've never really seen any of these things discussed in real life--but I'm probably in my own bubble. Either way, I think the internet makes these issues appear way bigger than they are. Not that there aren't people sincerely saying these things because there probably are, but I think most of this kind of content online can be sourced back to either satire or right wing trolls. For example, subreddits that track these kinds of things, i.e. /r/cringeanarchy, are well known for developing large subscriber bases consisting of Nazis, White Supremacists and other Fascists, as well as for posting fake content. Part of the problem is this kind of behavior compounds itself. It is Poe's Law in action. No matter whether the content is originally satire or a troll, on the internet many people will believe it is real.

People who actually believe it in real life aren't part of the left (they're actually often referred to as Radical Liberals/Rad-Libs). None of the Anarchists, Communists or Socialists I speak with say these kinds of things, and most of them are young. This kind of thing is just liberalism cloaked in leftish language. Btw, it probably doesn't mean anything but I haven't actually seen most of these things discussed in quite a while even online until I saw this thread. Perhaps it is starting to die out. More likely I've bubbled myself away from that.
Image
User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2635
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by PeterC »

humble.student wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:54 pm I can't say I have ever heard of animals being drowned in butter, other than as a culinary exaggeration (or did you mean ducks and geese for foie gras?), although there is an endangered species of bird, the ortolan, which is traditionally drowned in brandy, set alight, and eaten whole. Mitterand's favourite dish, and last meal, supposedly. He had it banned, tellingly enough, but didn't see fit to abide by his own rules.
It was a rhetorical device. These things don’t work so well on the internet.

That dish is still around, btw.
Malcolm
Posts: 32644
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

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

Post by Malcolm »

tkp67 wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:40 pm
Technology does not have to be embedded to have impact. 3rd world countries are suffering from climate change even though they aren't contributing to that dynamic.
Now you are changing the subject.

I can gladly provide references and I can unpack the impact of the tech/industrial footprint as well.

As can I. But it depends on what you mean by "technology." If you mean a digging stick, even crows have technology.
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 11533
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

SonamTashi wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:02 pm

I'm 26 and I've never really seen any of these things discussed in real life--but I'm probably in my own bubble. Either way, I think the internet makes these issues appear way bigger than they are. Not that there aren't people sincerely saying these things because there probably are, but I think most of this kind of content online can be sourced back to either satire or right wing trolls. For example, subreddits that track these kinds of things, i.e. /r/cringeanarchy, are well known for developing large subscriber bases consisting of Nazis, White Supremacists and other Fascists, as well as for posting fake content. Part of the problem is this kind of behavior compounds itself. It is Poe's Law in action. No matter whether the content is originally satire or a troll, on the internet many people will believe it is real.
I've had these discussions face to face, with a number of people, usually in their early to late 20s. I'm 43 for frame of reference. To be fair, I do live in the most "radlib" place you can live - the Pacific Northwest. So yeah, we're not talking about misunderstandings due to trolls or anything. This is actual stuff I've witnessed, had said to me directly etc. It is worse on the internet of course, like everything. A couple of the examples I gave - Burritos as cultural appropriation, someone telling me I should "ask an Indian person" before practicing Buddhism - came from conversations with people I know in real life. I don't use any social media any more other than this forum, so my exposure internet wise was never huge, and had decreased greatly.
People who actually believe it in real life aren't part of the left (they're actually often referred to as Radical Liberals/Rad-Libs). None of the Anarchists, Communists or Socialists I speak with say these kinds of things, and most of them are young. This kind of thing is just liberalism cloaked in leftish language. Btw, it probably doesn't mean anything but I haven't actually seen most of these things discussed in quite a while even online until I saw this thread. Perhaps it is starting to die out. More likely I've bubbled myself away from that.

Edit: Actually one recent thing this all reminds me of is the "cancelling" of Contrapoints.
Where I live a lot of the "anti-oppression" stuff on allyship etc. coming out of supposed anarchists is as bad as the radlib sort of folks, basically no notion of solidarity, common struggle, or even common good at all, just white guilt and constant means testing of your friends as a major part of "activism". Compared to actual socialist or anarchist ideals (whatever we want to say about those), it's a pale imitation, and that's being generous. Durutti would definitely be rolling over in his grave.

Cancel culture is bizarre, and one of the most idiotic things to come out of the "social justice"..cultural mileu. I'd heard very briefly about the contra points and it's indicative of the exact kind of shittiness I'm talking about, no wonder we are getting nowhere:(
"...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
Caoimhghín
Posts: 2816
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

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

Post by Caoimhghín »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:57 am Where I live a lot of the "anti-oppression" stuff on allyship etc. [...]
Allies are borderline Satan to modern queers.

I used to be part of a gay group at the York University campus called TBLGAY (Trans, Bisexual, Lesbian, Gays, and Allies at York), and traditionally there was one gay or lesbian co-ordinator and one trans co-ordinator. That was how the peace was maintained. In the year before my graduation, they made the dreadful mistake of hiring two radical non-binary pseudo-trans co-ordinators.

Their first action was to ban heterosexuals from the club, followed by a limit on the amount of men who could join the governing collective to 1/3 of the total group, this involved removing a lot of gay men from the governing collective. Their next action was to change "Allies" to "Asexuals." Things went downhill from there, attendance dropped to the personal friends of the co-ordinators, and TBLGAY took 3+ years to recover its membership, which can been a wide-ranging and diverse group of straight people, bisexuals, and gays. The year before they took over, it was the most active student group on campus. It wasn't afterward.

Full disclosure, despite being a gay man, I am not a queer myself. I refuse to identify with that word or the quasi-fascist political movement of pan-queerism it is attached to.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
User avatar
Könchok Thrinley
Former staff member
Posts: 2341
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

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

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Many parts of this twitter/tumblr internet activism puzzle me and alude me. While having rather noble cause (albeit the method is rather iffy) of everybody being accepted and treated with respect, they do not seem to give the same love and respect to "others". I get it as individuals they either feel alianeted from or hurt by the "majority". However, that does not give anybody a license to bully.

Contrapoints canceling is a rather perfect example. She herself made a great video about the topic (which made me worried about her alcohol intake) so I won't go into the details but! There is one thing I have noticed. There were some non-binary folks posting on twitter about the entire situation and the vocabulary startled me. They called the entire thing as vawes of hate and other similar expressions to describe what actually is nothing but yet another of many stupid twitter wars. They took it so personally. It almost seemed as if they saw twitter as "the real world".

Another examples are people calling translators of chinese BL novels homophobic, because in there is not enough of gay couples in those novels, while I consider some of the novels actually the best examples of gay representation I have ever encountered.

Long story short I do believe these folks mostly have a problem with ignorance. Unable to tell the difference and taking everything too personally. Which is understandable when you view world as a hostile place (understandable in case of trans folks for example). However, in their case it is mostly a twitter fuelled fantasy caused by living in a 'tumblr bubble' (say that fast 3 times, I dare you).

Sorry for my incoherent ramble.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
User avatar
justsit
Posts: 1181
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

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

Post by justsit »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:15 pm Many parts of this twitter/tumblr internet activism puzzle me and alude me. ...
Not a ramble, you make some valid observations, IMO. I'm trans, but was jumped from all sides on a supposedly liberal forum with many self-described "allies" because I refuse to buy into ridiculous language. Eventually I voted with my feet and left; not worth the hassle.
tkp67
Posts: 2086
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 am

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

Post by tkp67 »

Malcolm wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:05 pm
tkp67 wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:40 pm
Technology does not have to be embedded to have impact. 3rd world countries are suffering from climate change even though they aren't contributing to that dynamic.
Now you are changing the subject.

I can gladly provide references and I can unpack the impact of the tech/industrial footprint as well.

As can I. But it depends on what you mean by "technology." If you mean a digging stick, even crows have technology.
Changing the subject? I am being consistent with my very first statement posts prior that say technology and industrialization have had global impact. YOU mentioned embedded as a criteria. I am commenting on it. Everything I am saying supports this. I did mention industrial and technology ages to highlight give a scope of the influence I am referring to.

You are supposing technological impact implies be screen to face (which has its own validity) but I am talking about a much larger scope of causation. One that can easily be established. FWIW cell phones are about 30 years old and they now have a 60% market share of humanity. In ten years what will it look like?

Things are moving more rapidly than they did even a generation ago. The generation gap measured in these terms is wider.

But to the point of impact of pollution on younger generations is that I am also talking about changes in physiology. Everything from brain structure to hormone levels are being effected because of pressures from these ages.

The younger generation is not our generation placed ahead a bit but they are their own aggregates with challenges their own unique challenges.

Why are they fearing appropriation so badly it offends them? Are they emerging victims of humanities own growth? is it wrong for them to feel that way?

Not saying their cries of appropriation are right but I am saying the degenerate age doesn't always allow for a simple point of failure for an easy resolve.
DavidRockman
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:32 am

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

Post by DavidRockman »

I think as an American it can be difficult finding your place as a Buddhist- while the philosophy and religion is really for anyone, almost every school is so deeply entrenched in the culture within which it developed, it can easily feel a bit like appropriation or like there is a kind of wall of cultural preservation that is difficult to break through to.

At the same time, I think anyone who would say that practicing Buddhism of any kind is elitist or appropriation maybe does not have a firm grasp on the very basic principles of Buddhism; that suffering is universal and that all separation is illusory. If you live with good intent and effortfull practice, its hard to imagine there being any problem of substance within any Buddhist community or the global community.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
Posts: 4102
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

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

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

I used to visit a very large and nationally famous American zoo. It is arranged with different types of animals living in areas that are themed in such a way so as to reflect the geographic origins of the animals in that section. So, for example, a North America section, an Africa section, and so on. They have a southeast Asian area that sort of looks like the ruins of Angkor Wat, including a toppled Buddha statue, with its head on the ground. Well, the local SE Asian community set them right about that, and they fixed it. Then, they opened up a bbq restaurant in the same area, with the sign B B Q S A N D W I C H E S with each letter painted on... (drumroll please)...A string of Tibetan prayer flags. I explained to them why that was just plain wrong (on so many levels) and they happily replaced the signage. I guess I should have asked for the prayer flags.

That’s what I regard as cultural appropriation. It’s not me learning to speak Chinese or learning to play an African musical instrument. Rather, it’s the use of, or you might say, reinterpretation of other cultures on a completely superficial level, with absolutely no regard to meaning or significance, but instead just fitting it into your own scheme. So, a western Buddhist wearing and using Japanese beads for their intended purpose isn’t cultural appropriation, but wearing them as some kind of exotic fashion accessory is.
.
.
.
Be kindness
User avatar
PeterC
Posts: 2635
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

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

Post by PeterC »

Caoimhghín wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:01 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:57 am Where I live a lot of the "anti-oppression" stuff on allyship etc. [...]
Allies are borderline Satan to modern queers.

I used to be part of a gay group at the York University campus called TBLGAY (Trans, Bisexual, Lesbian, Gays, and Allies at York), and traditionally there was one gay or lesbian co-ordinator and one trans co-ordinator. That was how the peace was maintained. In the year before my graduation, they made the dreadful mistake of hiring two radical non-binary pseudo-trans co-ordinators.

Their first action was to ban heterosexuals from the club, followed by a limit on the amount of men who could join the governing collective to 1/3 of the total group, this involved removing a lot of gay men from the governing collective. Their next action was to change "Allies" to "Asexuals." Things went downhill from there, attendance dropped to the personal friends of the co-ordinators, and TBLGAY took 3+ years to recover its membership, which can been a wide-ranging and diverse group of straight people, bisexuals, and gays. The year before they took over, it was the most active student group on campus. It wasn't afterward.

Full disclosure, despite being a gay man, I am not a queer myself. I refuse to identify with that word or the quasi-fascist political movement of pan-queerism it is attached to.
I admit that I don’t really understand the proponents of this - movement? - but I suspect its emotional root cause has something to do with an undirected alienated anger, and I’m just looking at it from the other side of a generation gap with so many differences between their and my life experience that it will never really make sense to me.

However I suspect that there is something of substance behind it. Years ago - long before this movement became a thing - I had a good friend at university. He was black, from the deep South originally, and gay. His friends on campus were a diverse group of mostly non-black, non-Southern and straight people. I asked him about this once, and he said that when left his home town to come here he thought he would finally meet “his people” and feel part of a community. However on arriving, he found that he wasn’t really welcome in the black community because he was gay; he wasn’t really welcome in the gay community because he was black; and most people from the south there didn’t want to hang out with him for both of those reasons. So he just hung out with people he liked. He clearly had a circle of gay friends off-campus, but he was pretty critical of the way social life on-campus had split into cliques (as people at educational institutions are fond of doing).

It’s probably true that when I knew him, the social groups ‘representing’ non-white non-straight people were not especially welcoming of people sitting at the intersection of different minority groups. However that, and the rise of social media, seem to have given birth to a culture of unintelligible nonsense that is just as intolerant as the mainstream culture it claims to criticize.
Post Reply

Return to “Lounge”