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Subject: Cultural misappropriation rss

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Isaac Citrom
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Professor Misao Dean of the University of Victoria teaches that the canoe is cultural misappropriation and a symbol of Canadians', past and present, colonialism and continuing oppression.

Brian Lilley of the Rebel Media explains:




As part of her contribution to Mankind's knowledge, you can read her book about it:




The entire concept of cultural misappropriation is a load of bunk, in my opinion. But, I don't need to expound on it as my man, Thomas Sowell, explains it perfectly:

Cultural Diversity: A World View
If understandably you don't wish to invest the 40 minutes into this most excellent speech, you can jump to 2:15 to get the gist as it pertains to this post.

.
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Todd McMurray

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isaacc wrote:
Stuff about studies being bunk


Please, do explain your scholarly pursuits and research to provide evidence for your conclusion. I mean, your credentials speak for themselves, but I just want to learn how your years on the subject have informed this rather nuanced conclusion.
 
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fightcitymayor
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Yeah, cultural appropriation is definitely "a load of bunk."
I mean, we would never do something so insulting as...



... oh shit, never mind.
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John Hathorn
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I can see an argument for some ideas, concepts, and artifacts being culturally misappropriated... but, canoes!?!

I don't think it can be beat as an efficient, personal/small crew, low maintenance, and affordable mode of aquatic transport.
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Chris
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Sure why not? The canoe is an efficient means of water transportation so we adopted it. But what is wrong with that? we can't see that something is a good idea and use it? That's called being smart. It's not like we are using the canoe to make fun of Native Americans.

Everything has to be a controversy now doesn't it?
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jeremy cobert
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It reminds me of the black girl who attacked the white kid for his dreadlocks. Nobody bothered to tell her dreadlocks were originally appropriated from the Greeks.
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Mike Stiles
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fightcitymayor wrote:
Yeah, cultural appropriation is definitely "a load of bunk."
I mean, we would never do something so insulting as...



... oh shit, never mind.


I'm not sure blackface is really a good example of 'appropriation'. There's a whole bunch of other crap going on there.

As Issaac's example shows it can go too far and be silly, especially Hollywood, where it can Ghettoize.

The example I'd use is the trend to complain about casting white folks as Martial Artists &such (has come up with several of the Marvel franchises recently). Yes there's not enough Asian representation in films, but do we really want them typed into Kung Fu fighters and pulp mysterious eastern mystics?

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Robert Wesley
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WTF. Would grant agencies stop making money available for every professor with a dipshit theory that they are trying to make into a thesis dissertation?
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Steve K
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darthhugo wrote:
isaacc wrote:
Stuff about studies being bunk


Please, do explain your scholarly pursuits and research to provide evidence for your conclusion. I mean, your credentials speak for themselves, but I just want to learn how your years on the subject have informed this rather nuanced conclusion.


not an argument.
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Andy Leighton
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JohnnyOffice wrote:
I can see an argument for some ideas, concepts, and artifacts being culturally misappropriated... but, canoes!?!


Yep the problem is that one person saying canoes are cultural misappropriation tends to lead to the alt-right using that to rubbish the concept.

Firstly - canoes are not just a First Nations / Native American thing. Every culture has had canoes somewhere in the history. The oldest canoe was found in the Netherlands for example.

Secondly - canoes, at least birch-bark canoes, are a technological advance. Claiming that white Canadians cannot use them is like saying the Native Americans can't use microscopes as they were a European advance.

Thirdly - there is a 150 year history of canoeing being a recreational activity, and a longer period being where their use was mainly commercial. It is already firmly established in Canadian culture, a canoe was on the dollar for 50 odd years.
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Xander Fulton
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This is a very weird argument to make, to start with, given we have well-documented examples of "dugout canoes" (at the very least) in European history dating back MILLENIA before 'Western contact with North America'.

Nor is the idea of a "paddle" particularly unique. I mean...hellloooo...



...what is it, precisely, that is supposedly being "culturally appropriated", here?

Basically every civilization of mankind has been paddling craft on water since shortly after they first encountered water, and it's certainly a case where 'form follows function' - there just isn't much real variation in how you best do that.
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Robert Wesley
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Todd McMurray

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jeremycobert wrote:
It reminds me of the black girl who attacked the white kid for his dreadlocks. Nobody bothered to tell her dreadlocks were originally appropriated from the Greeks.


Ah, yes... trot out the one example. Hey, perhaps you can try to white-wash all the lynchings, and burnings, and whiteface, and discrimination, and slavery with your arsenal of examples.

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Mike Stiles
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darthhugo wrote:
jeremycobert wrote:
It reminds me of the black girl who attacked the white kid for his dreadlocks. Nobody bothered to tell her dreadlocks were originally appropriated from the Greeks.


Ah, yes... trot out the one example. Hey, perhaps you can try to white-wash all the lynchings, and burnings, and whiteface, and discrimination, and slavery with your arsenal of examples.



And it's not like cultural appropriation isn't a thing we all see, (and something which annoys everyone really), it's like privilege. A very useful concept that gets abused to hell by some people.
 
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Kelsey Rinella
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XanderF wrote:

Basically every civilization of mankind has been paddling craft on water since shortly after they first encountered water, and it's certainly a case where 'form follows function' - there just isn't much real variation in how you best do that.


Well, the fact that your example of how universal paddles are had oars, not paddles, I'm thinking there are probably some subtle distinctions among watercraft and their accoutrements which the authors make, but you see as negligible.

But I admit, I haven't bothered watching the video to confirm that.
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Mike Stiles
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Wiki is good for non-partisan stuff :D

Quote:
The difference between oars and paddles are that paddles are held by the paddler, and are not connected with the vessel.


Makes sense to usage as I've heard it.

~~~

Admitting that I also haven't watched the video, sounds like the scholarly equivalent of clickbait - you know the drill, say something aggressive and controversial and increase your profile, and possibly your liberal cred.
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Les Marshall
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darthhugo wrote:
isaacc wrote:
Stuff about studies being bunk


Please, do explain your scholarly pursuits and research to provide evidence for your conclusion. I mean, your credentials speak for themselves, but I just want to learn how your years on the subject have informed this rather nuanced conclusion.


Well, he did link the speech of Thomas Sowell which discusses the subject rather nicely. Do you have a direct rebuttal to Sowell or just an attack on the personal expertise of the OP?

You'd probably need to read Misao Dean's book to get a detailed account of her thinking but, the audio clips presented demonstrate a fairly idiosyncratic manner of thinking about the subject. Her conclusions about the canoe as a "symbol" of colonialism and the very appellation of "Canadian" as another colonial symbol, while seeming rather thin don't really offer a practical solution to what she views as a problem.

It's a bit of misdirection to attack Isaac for his "qualifications" as that suggests no one in RSP or the internet in general should be providing personal opinions about topics in which they have no expertise. Part of the advantage of the modern world and the printed word is the ability to absorb information and philosophy about the greater world and to participate in the democratic process. It would be like me telling someone here they shouldn't weigh in about the Supreme Court unless they are also attorneys (as I am) or judges.

Isaac has expressed an opinion. He clearly did some work to find and link information on the topic. If you disagree, why not tell us why?



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Professor of Pain
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Based on reviews of the book I don't think Dean is arguing that the canoe itself is cultural misappropriation. She's not really interested in the history of the canoe itself, but with what the canoe has been made to mean over time. Her argument appears to be that "the canoe has played a significant role in the narration of the nation as a just, multicultural-but-primarily-white, environmentally conscious place. Erased from this version of Canada is the violence of colonialism and its impact on First Nations that challenge dominant ideas about the nation."

The Amazon.com summary says:
Quote:
If the canoe is a symbol of Canada, what kind of Canada does it symbolize? Inheriting a Canoe Paddle looks at how the canoe has come to symbolize love of Canada for non-aboriginal Canadians and provides a critique of this identification’s unintended consequences for First Nations. Written with an engaging, personal style, it is both a scholarly examination and a personal reflection, delving into representations of canoes and canoeing in museum displays, historical re-enactments, travel narratives, the history of wilderness expeditions, artwork, film, and popular literature.
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Mike Stiles
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Elfbane wrote:
Based on reviews of the book I don't think Dean is arguing that the canoe itself is cultural misappropriation. She's not really interested in the history of the canoe itself, but with what the canoe has been made to mean over time. Her argument appears to be that "the canoe has played a significant role in the narration of the nation as a just, multicultural-but-primarily-white, environmentally conscious place. Erased from this version of Canada is the violence of colonialism and its impact on First Nations that challenge dominant ideas about the nation."

The Amazon.com summary says:
Quote:
If the canoe is a symbol of Canada, what kind of Canada does it symbolize? Inheriting a Canoe Paddle looks at how the canoe has come to symbolize love of Canada for non-aboriginal Canadians and provides a critique of this identification’s unintended consequences for First Nations. Written with an engaging, personal style, it is both a scholarly examination and a personal reflection, delving into representations of canoes and canoeing in museum displays, historical re-enactments, travel narratives, the history of wilderness expeditions, artwork, film, and popular literature.


There's valuable social, linguistic, and anthropological work to be done with First nations, and she's wasting time shaming people over the meaning of canoes?

Not that I expect much useful work to come out of U-Vic anyways.
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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I haven't watched the video, but why bother? I mean, it seems that nobody's done the author the courtesy of reading the book before dismissing it, so I'm hardly out of line.

I haven't read it either of course. But here's a review that succinctly summarises the contents:

Canadian Literature. A Quarterly of Criticism and Review wrote:
Professor of English at the University of Victoria, Misao Dean, begins her book with an equally forthright introduction that likewise attests to the personal significance of her historically and theoretically informed research. As Dean explains, she embarked on her project to analyze how the canoe came to become a an icon in the Canadian national imaginary in 2000 when her father died following his year-long battle with colon cancer. Dean confesses that of all the objects he bequeathed to her, her father’s canoe paddle was the one that held the most meaning. For Dean, as for many Canadians, the paddle’s and, by extension, the canoe’s significance lies in the capacity to evoke personal, familial, and cultural memories. By turns elegiac, comic, and polemical, Dean’s book explores how the personal and the political are imbricated in the image of the canoe. As the introduction attests, Dean’s study is fundamentally a narrative about loss—“the loss of childhood, family, stability, but also a loss of fixed political identity that I think is common to many other Canadians of my generation.” Dean traces the loss of Anglo-Canadians fixed political identity by skillfully reading both literary and historical documents from the late nineteenth century to the present, ranging from the poetry of Duncan Campbell Scott to the short stories of Margaret Atwood.

Throughout the book, Dean’s gifts as a storyteller enables her to animate the people, events, and institutions—including the 1967 Canadian Centennial Canoe Pageant and the founding of the Canoe Museum in Ottawa—that helped to transform the canoe into what it is today, the pre-eminent icon of Canadian nationalism. Early chapters explore the largely successful efforts on the part of historians and politicos to promulgate the fiction of “the innocence of Anglo-Canadian society”—a fiction predicated on maintaining that the fur trade “depended on keeping First Nations on the land and preserving their traditional hunting way of life.” As Dean argues, this foundational fiction, increasingly promoted after World War II, enhanced the subsequent nationalist fetishizing of the canoe by famous Canadian canoeing enthusiasts and environmentalists such as Eric Morse and Bill Mason. These men attempted to demonstrate “how canoeists, by virtue of their canoeing, are not European anymore, but something new, Canadian.”


Studying the role of symbols in the construction of national myths is a perfectly acceptable scholarly task, and this monograph seems entirely in keeping with that.

It may be that her argument does not hold water (geddit?). Maybe she is a pseud and an intellectual fraud. Or it may be that a bunch of conservaties are frothing their mouths over yet another imagined case of liberal idiocy. But one can only determine that by reading the bloody book.

I can't answer those questions because I have no intention of doing this; I'm not interested in canoes or Canada. But I can say one thing with certainty: anyone trying debunk a book's argument without reading it is a pompous halfwit.
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Чебурашка, ты настоящий друг!
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windsagio wrote:
Not that I expect much useful work to come out of U-Vic anyways.


It has the best historian working on Ukraine today.
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Professor of Pain
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windsagio wrote:
There's valuable social, linguistic, and anthropological work to be done with First nations, and she's wasting time shaming people over the meaning of canoes?

I haven't read the book but from what I can tell from reviews thereof, the answer to your question is 'no'.
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Despite not being English, I wear Victorian clothing for fun. I am clearly some kind of a monster.

IMO, THE CONCEPT OF "CULTURAL APPROPRIATION" IS ONE OF THE STUPIDEST THINGS ANYONE EVER COMPLAINS ABOUT EVER.
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Mike Stiles
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Salo sila wrote:
windsagio wrote:
Not that I expect much useful work to come out of U-Vic anyways.


It has the best historian working on Ukraine today.


Heh it was a throwaway diss, "3rd biggest research university in BC" isn't huge :p

~~

On the content, even if reporting (which I did look up) is being oversensational, it seems a pretty weak argument.

A canoe is a tool. Canadians value canoes as tools. Overcontextualizing something is just about always a mistake.
 
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