Thursday, June 29, 2017

In which I say two conservative-ish things

1.   While I think that Federal Labor is looking the better party for dealing with all sorts of things at the moment, I regret that Shorten is saying that Labor will make Sunday penalty rates go back up again if elected.

My common sense judgement is that penalty rates got too high, and deserve the present decrease, which is relatively modest in any case. 

I wish Labor could accept the same.

2.  There is an article at NPR in which someone argues that "cultural appropriation is indefensible"  for writers and artists generally.     It is completely and utterly unconvincing.   Take this, for example:
I teach classes and seminars alongside author and editor Nisi Shawl on Writing the Other, and the foundation of our work is that authors should create characters from many different races, cultures, class backgrounds, physical abilities, and genders, even if — especially if — these don't match their own. We are not alone in this. You won't find many people advising authors to only create characters similar to themselves. You will find many who say: Don't write characters from minority or marginalized identities if you are not going to put in the hard work to do it well and avoid cultural appropriation and other harmful outcomes. These are different messages. But writers often see or hear the latter and imagine that it means the former.
So what is cultural appropriation?  She explains:
Cultural appropriation can feel hard to get a handle on, because boiling it down to a two-sentence dictionary definition does no one any favors. Writer Maisha Z. Johnson offers an excellent starting point by describing it not only as the act of an individual, but an individual working within a "power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group."
This has lead to accusations of gatekeeping by Malik and others: Who has the right to decide what is appropriation and what isn't? What does true cultural exchange look like? There's no one easy answer to either question.

But there are some helpful guidelines: The Australian Council for the Arts developed a set of protocols for working with Indigenous artists that lays out how to approach Aboriginal culture as a respectful guest, who to contact for guidance and permission, and how to proceed with your art if that permission is not granted. Some of these protocols are specific to Australia, but the key to all of them is finding ways for creativity to flourish while also reducing harm.
Well, seems to me that the accusations of gatekeeping are entirely justified by the explanation in the second paragraph. 

I'm sorry, this is all ill defined bulldust, if you ask me.   Sure, I can understand people being annoyed by  lazy or insultingly inaccurate depictions of culture by an artist outside of it.    That can just be called "bad art".   But to try to dress it up in high minded, vaguely defined, heavy on offence taking,  resentful of the potential for someone outside to make money, demands for only doing art one way, is just painful and silly.


not trampis said...

1) No a social and an economic conservative would have no problems with penalty rates. It is economic liberals who do not like penalty rates.
so my social conservatism wins over my economic liberalism.

2) I gave up on this subject whee i read an article on how Elvis was a prime example of this.

Steve said...

1) I'm not against penalty rates per se; but they have to be reasonable.

2) Yes - even this article references Elvis and cultural appropriation.

Jason Soon said...

"so my social conservatism wins over my economic liberalism."

you have no economic liberalism Homer, stop bullshitting