Making Money Off Cultural Appropriation: The Bane Of Contemporary Intellectualism

Chief Bellegarde looking very serious wondering how many acts of cultural appropriation he committed today.

Cultural appropriation as an intellectual concept is about as backward and flimsy as it can get and deserves to be humoured and ignored. However, indigenous peoples have decided to up the ante by calling on the UN to ban and make illegal cultural appropriation. 
This is where I draw the line and hit back before it goes too far.
What some may call cultural appropriation is just the evolution of humanity to others thus making the claim to make it ‘illegal’ all the more absurd. In effect, you want to make mankind illegal.

Now. Imagine a world where all the great people, minds and nations in world history begin to ‘reclaim’ their heritages? I’ll let you ponder this to its logical end.

"That would mean products like those in U.S.-based retailer Urban Outfitters "Navajo" line, Anaya said, including "Navajo hipster panties," a "peace treaty feather necklace" and a "Navajo print flask."
The Navajo Nation launched a legal battle against the company for trademark infringement in 2012. The case was settled out of court late last year."
Let's call this for what it is. A racket.
It's called a shakedown Lionel Hutz could get behind and victim groups are looking to cash in. 
The optics don't look good from where I sit.
"Anaya is one of several Indigenous leaders at this round of negotiations who are questioning just how seriously some member states are taking the negotiations."

No shit. Anaya has a law degree from Harvard. So. Cultural appropriation? I mean, if he's so serious about he can return his degree and get one from Native U, right?

"We are only halfway through 2017 and yet the number of occurrences of misappropriation happening to Indigenous Peoples in all regions of the world seems relentless with no relief in sight," said Aroha Te Pareake Mead, a member of the Ngati Awa and Ngati Porou tribes in Wellington, New Zealand."  

Another example of why I'm glad the UN is dysfunctional and has no real authority to make anything illegal. 

Best thing to do is to continue ignoring anyone who screams cultural appropriation and anyone who apologizes for it. 

*Image from CBC.


Which got me thinking about something. If I understand this concept correctly, it's basically ethnocentric tribalism passing off as protecting a culture. If I applied this logic to my Italian heritage and demanded people stop wearing Italian suits, I'd be (rightly) laughed at for being so arrogantly prejudiced and a tad to committed to my roots.

In fact, Italy is a actually a good example given its vast and immeasurably impact and influence on history.

So to the Anaya's of this world:

Italy could theoretically request of anyone on the grounds of cultural appropriation they not:

-Drive a Ferrari (I would appreciate if you watch F1 if you’d close your eyes every time a Ferrari complete a lap), Ducati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Moto Guzzi, Vespa, Aprilia and especially a Maserati because it’s my personal favourite car and no person who is not Italian should own one before I ever do. By extension, you are not use as blueprints for design anything from Giugaro, Pinifarina or Zagato. That goes for car parts from MoMo to Brembo to Marzocchi. We could, we suppose, make an exception for Bugatti since they moved their factories to France so it would have to be up to the French to make a decision on that. 

Not only that, perhaps, I could sue Hanna-Barbera for appropriating Italian racing culture in an episode of The Flintstones by way of Goggles Paesano?

-Enjoy a ride in an Italian made plane or yacht. 

-Ride on a Pinarello, Colnago, Wilier (and the hundreds of other beautiful bicycles produced in Italy) with Campagnolo parts.  

-Wear a tailored made suit by Armani, Zegna or Versace or any other haute couture from Italy. No Gucci, Dolce e Gabbana or Bertoni sunglasses. Actually, chances are the fine cloths you wear probably come from a textile mill from Italy. Ditto for any watches, shoes and other accessories created by the Italian mind to make humans look sharp including Diadora, Kappa and Geox too. You’re very lucky Fila was sold to a Chinese company. You can have that.

-Read any number of landmark classic works of literature ever produced by the minds of Italians. Do not cite any works from Castiglione, Brunelleschi, Juvenal, Beccaria, Galileo, Da Vinci or Fermi. It would be appreciated; especially you Anaya. 

All architectural plans by their design leaving a mark on the world are to revert back to the Italians. 

-Enjoy a piece of music or film byMonterverdi, Verdi, Vivaldi, Rossini, De Sica, Zeferellii and Fellini. Why stop there? Let’s throw in the Italo-North Americans Coppola, De Laurentis and Scorsese just to be safe. Heck, time to take back The Godfather, Danny Suco and The Fonz and the endless stream of characters of Italian descent that have given entertainment joy to viewers for decades.

-Wine and drink. No Campari, Martini & Rossi, Grappa, Sambuca or any wine from any part of the land of wine be it Chianti or Barbara. Same with olive oil. No one is to touch Italian olive oil given their masterful techniques in producing it. Why should anyone enjoy it other than Italians?

-Own a Berretta or Benelli. Hand it over.

-Please return all Frank Sinatra cd’s. Come to think of it, you may as of now stop listening or watching Italian-American entertainers.

-Make sure when you build your home or go out shopping for furniture, ceramics, tiles, or windows to please avoid Italian brands. Marble from Carerra is a definite no-way.  Mapei cement products too.

-Do you have plans for pizza tonight? Break them. My culture owns pizza and pasta and I don’t like non-Italians misappropriating or consuming such wonderful foods millions upon millions of people have come love and revere. Alas, cultural appropriation dictates we must reclaim what is ours. Sorry.

-Sofia Loren. Take that poster down. Hand it over. Ours. /rolls poster up.

-The battery was invented by Volta. Stop using it.

-Why stop at that? No MP3 for you: 

Heck, just don't use anything invented by Italians.

The list of Western inventions is way too extensive, dramatic, profound and ubiquitous to name here. Suffice to say, chances are Anaya commits at least, I'm guessing what, 20-25 acts of cultural appropriation himself. 

At some point, you're just gonna have to knock it off or else you're gonna get more and more people tuning out or throwing stuff back into your face.

If this isn't a kick in the head, I don't know what is!


  1. So, let's see if I got this right ...
    ...Americans of Irish-German descent should not be enjoying The Four Seasons, Frank Sinatra, Dion, Connie Francis, singers and performers like those? .....

    (You know something? This is a rather fun subject, especially when one's looking for a subject to mock and parody.)

    1. And three of those four you mentions are of....Italian descent!

      It's cultural appropriation to mention them! Or something.

      Any person who invokes CA is an anti-humanist idiot.


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