Awesome artwork for this episode! Really captures that one question, lol. (The bunny on the calendar is also my favorite )
I was thrilled that Lee, Jake, and Will took on the appropriation question--and they did it with their trademark compassion and common sense. I really appreciate that, and I think they all made great points. There’s not much to add, really, since they make so much sense, but my big question is “Where does it end?”
Just take tarot as an example, since that’s what started the discussion. From what I know about it, tarot started out as a Renaissance-era card game. Then along came mystics in, like, the 1800s or something--centuries later--who appropriated it for divination and cartomancy. Nowadays tarot is pretty much synonymous with their culture--no one who hears the word "tarot" has as their first thought "card game." And we can go farther back. What about all of the symbols in the original cards? Those were ripped off from a handful of other cultures. Should the creators of the card game (which has now been enjoyed in various forms for, like, 600 years by an uncountable number of people) be posthumously castigated for that? Or should we persecute the occult users of the cards now because they’re not using the cards for their original intent?
I just don’t get it. It seems like such a lose-lose mindset. And for what? People are being cyber bullied on a public and massive scale right now for offending a handful of victim groups. And keep in mind that the bullying doesn’t end with just the person being bullied, because it’s public. Public bullying becomes an implicit threat to everyone who sees, reads, or hears about the bullying. So these “busybodies” (as Will so kindly called them) are literally hurting and tearing down thousands of people at a go—in some cases destroying their lives—just because a couple people got bruised feelings. When did tearing people down become a valid way to make yourself feel better?
It’s so negative. I really truly don’t understand why people want to live like that. Why on earth can’t they be grateful for anyone who shows an interest in their culture, on whatever level? We’re all on a journey, and we’re all at different stages and levels. Isn’t it the best gift in the world to meet someone who shares an interest in something you are interested in? Who likes something about you, your history, your experiences? Even if it IS just “Hey, that looks cool!” which is just about the most superficial of an interest you can have. (I mean, doesn’t it feel great when we get likes on Instagram? What is that but a momentary intersection of interests?)
Culture isn't static. It's always in flux. It's always being remade and reshaped. It's not a thing so much as the sum of the interactions of thousands and thousands of people. Content creators are a big part of that. So shouldn’t we consciously think about it? Is the culture we want to make one where everyone walks on eggshells and has to stay stuffed in narrow little boxes that other people define for them?
I read and hear all over the art community about people battling negative voices and stuff in order to create anything at all—and yet, the “cultural appropriation” issue seems to say that it’s okay to manufacture those negative voices wholesale by publicly shaming certain groups and people, telling them variations of "You don't belong here," and "You're not allowed." So THANK YOU, Lee, Jake, and Will, for being a positive and uplifting voice for artists on this issue!
I really loved the episode overall. Some awesome questions. Thank you so much to the whole 3-Point Perspective team for putting out such great, thoughtful content. Can't wait for the next episode!