Cultural Appropriation Hysteria – NPR Earnestly Debates The Merits Of Culinary Segregation

White Girl Asian Food - Cultural Appropriation

Put the chopsticks down and step away from the rice bowl, Timmy!

While our universities become increasingly unrecognisable places where academic freedom is curtailed and human behaviour restricted in the name of identity politics, NPR is fretting about people of one race and culture having the audacity to cook the cuisine of another:

Recently, we started a conversation about food and race. Specifically, we wondered out loud, who gets to cook — and become the face of — a culture’s cuisine?

[..] As with many things involving race and class in America, there are no easy answers — and we’re not expecting to find any clear-cut ones. We’re more interested in starting a conversation.

Here’s some of what we heard from you.

On one hand, many of you pointed out that cooking the cuisine of other cultures is a tangible way to connect. That’s part of what makes America a literal as well as figurative melting pot.

[..] At its heart, food is about identity — about where we came from — which is why the topic of cuisine and who cooks it can be so personal and complicated for some.

[..] Many of you stressed the importance of approaching the cuisine of others with respect. And that means highlighting not just the ingredients, but also the culture behind a dish.

Read the whole thing. The article is littered with numerous examples of narcissistic, self-obsessed, virtue-signalling statements sent in by NPR readers and listeners, each competing with one another to be the most enlightened, compassionate warrior fighting for those poor people whose very identity is being erased by the likes of Panda Express and Chipotle.

The upshot seems to be that a plurality of NPR listeners will very graciously allow us to continue cooking the food of other cultures, as long as we do so with sufficient respect and reverence for the culture from which we are borrowing.

But don’t you dare seek to make a profit on the back of a cuisine which is not identified with your personal ethnic background, because that is clearly a step too far:

Some of you said what’s bothersome isn’t so much whether a person of one race or ethnicity is cooking the food of another culture. That can be done respectfully. The question, then, is more about opportunity — who has a chance to profit from making a cuisine?

The idea that the value of something should be determined by the consumer rather than some prissy Identity Politics oppression-based algorithm seems anathema to Twitter user Chandra Ram and a number of other NPR followers.

How long, then, until some virtue-signalling  Identity Politics cultist proposes a system of “culinary reparations”, whereby restaurants are entitled to serve the modified cuisine of marginalised cultures only if they pay a some kind of tax on their revenue, to be distributed equally among everyone who can prove membership of the “injured” ethnic group?

And if you think something so ludicrous would never happen, just wait until the current crop of students passing through university have graduated, entered the job market and worked their way into our political system.

That’s the hipster food truck industry in London decimated, for a start.

 

Postscript: One of the best responses to the attempt by Identity Politics cultists to re-segregate our cuisines along ethnic lines comes from this Reddit user:

Cultural Appropriation - Food

Safe Space Notice - 2

Top Image: Vice

Bottom Image: Reddit User

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Olympics Past And Present

Today seems to be the day to look back at Olympic Games past and marvel how far we have come. Both NPR and Slate have pieces documenting the differences in styles, fashions and sporting events that a spectator might have seen at the Olympics in 1908 and 1912 respectively.

NPR looks at the 1908 London games, the first time that the United Kingdom’s capital hosted the competition:

Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Slate reviews the following games, which took place in Stockholm in 1912:

Flickr Commons project and database, 2008, via Library of Congress.

They go on to explain:

… the 1912 Stockholm Games were “the last Olympics where any individual could just turn up and hope to enter a competition.” In that era, the idea that “natural” skill might enable someone to win a competition without any specialized training was still widely embraced.

As I sit in my living room with twenty four high-definition BBC channels showing almost every Olympic event taking place live, with commentary and instant replay and now apparently optional 3D, it is nice to appreciate what we have now, but also to look back at a time when people were happy to be entertained by watching the tug-of-war and a master of ceremonies wielding a megaphone to address the crowds.

Love In A Nursing Home

A thoughtful and well-written piece from NPR about the complications and considerations arising when nursing home patients – particularly those suffering from dementia – try to maintain existing or form new romantic relationships:

[Gerontologist William H.] Thomas said that we need to see a shift in our society’s understanding of aging. “We need to normalize the idea that older people are human beings,” he says. “They have the same needs and same desires they had before. Age changes those needs and desires, but they are still there.”

He recommends that adult children talk about the issue of sexuality with their aging parents in nursing homes. “They never thought that Mom would have a boyfriend at the nursing home, but it’s true,” he says. “As we become an older society, this is something that we need to learn to better address.”

I quite agree that these important matters should be discussed between care homes and their patients or those with power of attorney as part of the process for selecting the right care home – it is vital that the staff know how to handle such situations and how to respect the wishes of the patient.

Somehow, I also know that just as the end-of-life care discussion morphed into “death panels”, any discussion of this topic in the US will immediately be hijacked by today’s GOP and mischaracterised as “mandatory orgies for grandma” or something else of the like.

Birtherism Antidote

A nice short piece from NPR yesterday, about a courageous mother who stood up to a hostile neighbourhood and antigonistic police to let her black son swim in the newly-desegregated swimming pool in their town:

http://www.npr.org/2012/06/01/154100293/when-mom-is-right-and-tells-police-theyre-wrong?sc=fb&cc=fp

Even at the age of 13, Holmes felt the animosity. The neighborhood had a private swim club that opened up to anyone who participated in the Memorial Day parade. Holmes was in the band.

“I arrived at the pool on Memorial Day having marched in the parade with my uniform still on, and they called the police,” he says.

The pool managers and the police department told Holmes’ mother that her son was not allowed in the pool. She started to ask why, but then she stopped herself. Instead, she told Holmes to crawl under the turnstile and go into the pool.

“I looked at my mother; I looked at the police,” Holmes says. “And I will tell you that as a 13-year-old, I was more inclined to do what my mother said than to be afraid of the police. So I did it.”

A policeman told Holmes’ mother to get him. Holmes distinctly remembers her response: “If you want him out of the pool, you go take him out of the pool. And by the way, as you take him out, you tell him why he can’t go in the pool today.”

“No one came. No one got me out, and I stayed in the pool,” Holmes says.

I think I needed to post something positive – albeit from 1956 – as an antidote to all of the Donald Trump / Birtherism nonsense that has been dominating the US news recently.