“Cultural Appropriation”; it’s a phrase that has entered into the American vernacular (almost overnight) to describe something I was led to believe was a good thing… embracing another culture. It is what I observe when I see people lacking in Irish blood celebrating a TRADITIONAL Saint Paddy’s Day supper (which is not corned beef and cabbage just so you know). When non-Greeks are invited to a traditional Greek celebration and smash dishes like one of the family (a friend of mine told me this, not sure if it’s true). It’s the very essence of what makes America unique; a hodgepodge of peoples and cultures living side by side, both as individual cultures and as Americans.
But recently, we have learned this is bad…even racist!
I could give examples of people like myself not being offended by people of non-Scottish descent wearing the kilt – but that could also pertain to just me. No; I would rather bring up how a young cook from a rural agricultural state like Vermont has incorporated cooking styles from around the world, adopted elements of the lingo of those around him and added fashion elements from different regions to constantly reinvent himself (yes: I am still talking about myself… go figure!). Am I supposed to go back to cooking boring continental style cuisine? Can I never use a phrase picked up from one of my English friends simply because I am few generations removed from that island? Should I take off my cowboy boots and return to Muck boots just because I am still on the East coast?
I hope not! (Especially on the last part: I look damn sexy in those boots.)
Why would someone so proud of their culture, wish to keep it all to themselves? Does this do anything to lessen the divide in our great society? And doesn’t someone adopting an element of your culture allow the knowledge of it to spread? I wish to backtrack to a point I made in the first paragraph. I brought up the traditional celebration customs of Saint Patrick’s Day versus how much of the West (outside of Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Mann) celebrates the first Bishop of Ireland’s feast day today. I know of no traditional Irish-Americans (probably NOT you) who are offended by corned beef and cabbage versus the traditional meal (boiled slab bacon or “rashers” with turnips, cabbage, and other root vegetables). Most, including myself (yes – a significant amount of Northern Irish blood in my veins as well) love taking the opportunity to let others know how the modern tradition descends from the older one. It gives us a chance to explore the history of the tradition, and bring someone to a greater understanding of our pride in said culture.
It brings me to a scene in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The character “Tuco” (played by Eli Wallach) doesn’t like any of the pistols at the store. So he takes different pieces from several different sidearm models to create his own, customized pistol. Using elements of several different pre-existing things, something brand new, with a heritage to all the previous models was brought forth.
If that isn’t American, I guess I don’t know shit about what is!
For those of you that didn’t catch my interview on The Stoner Jesus Show (link below the picture), we brought up (briefly, before I went full ADHD) how American conservatism is changing. Now that I am a bit more focused, I would like to further the points I made in that interview. We all remember the days of Jerry Falwell, The Moral Majority and when social conservatism reigned in the Republican party. But today is not 1980’s America: Falwell is dead, social conservatism is right behind him, and no one born after 1990 even knows what “The Moral Majority” even was. Today’s conservative doesn’t care who you fuck as long as it’s a human and it’s consensual. Today’s conservative is either accepting of other cultures or at least wishes them the same freedoms as everyone else (so long as they obey the law). Today’s conservative is just as fed up with the old guard GOP as any liberal is. But most importantly, the new conservative has been so thirsty for fiscal responsibility and change that they have elected people like Clint Eastwood to the mayors office in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California; and then followed up with electing Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Governor’s office of Minnesota and California and finally, electing Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
But have Democrats changed? Have they evolved? Well, if you mean that Al Gore isn’t a homophobe anymore (so he says) – then sure! But have their talking points changed? I don’t think so. In fact, now it’s not just Republican’s and conservatives that are racist bigots… now it’s ANYONE that disagrees with them. (Al Gore apparently get’s a pardon on his homophobic comments from the 80’s).
Just food for thought as we head into the mid-term elections (and no, that is not an endorsement of the GOP… all except the Republican Liberty Caucus can get fucked). Until next week – live free!