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Coyote Walks

New Article up at Cardboard Republic

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4 minutes ago, agarrett said:

Any member of the culture?

Of course: There isn't an official government body that grants someone the official, rubber-stamped right to not like something, each person will have their own standards. The UN isn't going to put you on trial or anything, some people might just think less of you.

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27 minutes ago, agarrett said:

  No. It isn't.

  Sorry, but even using that definition (which I agree is the correct one) the standard is use 'without authority or right.' And you're just assuming that the designers did not have one or both of those.

  So, who grants authority to use elements of a foreign culture? Well, there actually isn't anyone. Any member of the culture? By that standard, AEG and FFG are easily in the clear. The members of the culture of the time being used? Sorry, they're all dead. The current government? I don't believe they have any such procedure set up, and would probably laugh if you tried to get permission (or, depending on the bureau and person, would charge a fee and grant it pointlessly.) But try to answer if you take this seriously, how do you gain such an authority?

  Alternatively, they are using elements of the culture without the right to do so. Once again, how do you gain such a right? Modern governments grant copyrights for (theoretically) limited times, but the elements of the story AEG and FFG are using are long past even those times. We also protect elements or information that the owner makes serious attempts to keep secret / personal. Once again, there's no such element involved in these stories. So, my claim here is that all the elements FFG is using are ones that are public domain, and they have the appropriate rights. I'd be interested in hearing any coherent and consistent definition of rights that works otherwise.

You are being too literal.  

This has devolved into a semantic argument on which we will need to agree to disagree.  Ultimately, whether or not it is cultural appropriation is much less relevant than whether or not that cultural appropriation is a problem.

On that second, much more important point, I think we agree.

Edited by Yogo Gohei

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14 hours ago, El_Ganso said:

Oh yes, "cultural appropriation". A modem phenomenon that is possible "Only in America". And is only problematic now after generations of living in the security and excesses that could have only been possible by the imperialist, colonial, and expansionist practices of the "Manifest Destiny"/"America First" mentality of the American middle class.

Yea, I get it. I would question anything remotely resembling any of America's biggest sins of the past.

But I'm not American, which gives me a different perspective, and I think I can say that I think people may be over reacting sometimes.

I personally think that sometimes people who point to cultural appropriation and the like are wrong or overreacting. But generally speaking I'm not educated enough on the subject to really pass judgement, furthermore, I'm not a member of the group the person is claiming has been wronged. My opinion on the matter of right or wrong isn't worth very much to any larger discussion, as I'm not honestly involved. So I try to keep that in mind when I interact with people.

My comment on it being an 'American Discussion' was not meant to imply anything about the US or the rest of the world, just that I don't see other multicultural societies using the same syntax. Indian people in the UK would likely have a different discussion, based on the different context of why they are in the UK.

5 hours ago, KerenRhys said:

As, seeing your post following mine, I'm probably for you one those "just making fun of the entire reason that people have those concerns", I'll just correct something. I'm not making fun of anything, I'm just showing that a lot of those people that protest over "cultural appropriation" are not coherent in their behaviour, since they will still do it themselves, with Christmas, Halloween or those kind of celebrations used as obvious examples. The tone was snarky indeed because I'm tired of people giving morale lessons to other when they don't even apply those to themselves. Obviously, there are a few exceptions that behave coherently with their (supposed or real?) morale positions but I'd bet they are a very small minority.

On top of that, all (well, most since there are still some isolated tribes here and there) current cultures are results of the absorption of other cultures elements. Since the discussion have focused a lot on Japan, do you have any idea of how many gods of the japanese pantheon come from China for example? Or how much the japanese language have been influenced by other cultures? That Go and Shogi that are usually associated with Japan don't find their origin there? I could give dozens of those kind of examples. And there, I take the japanese as an example, but it's the same everywhere. There aren't any "pure culture" because that concept makes no sense.

I think an important thing to note about the conversations about appropriation is that 'cultural purity' is not the goal. The goal mostly boils down to respect and context in my experience.

If you visit or are invited to Native American tribe and, as part of your time there, are presented with the trappings of their culture(clothes, titles, etc) then no one would cry foul to that! But if you go to Party City(a white owned American costume shop) and bought those same clothes then THAT would be something people take issue with! There is a power dynamic in play between Native Americans and white Americans that is not in play between Christians and non-Christians regarding Christmas or Halloween. In fact, one could argue that the OPPOSITE power dynamic comes into play there! Christianity is the dominant religion of the US, Christmas and Halloween are EVERYWHERE during December and October, and they have lost much of their religions significance in that marketing.

I think that your issues with people giving 'moral lessons' isn't really fair. Sure, some people will be misinformed, or have bad takes on issues. This is potentially harmful to the cause they are trying to serve. But as long as they are protesting in good faith(very important in any discussion) and are open to being corrected by those who know what they are talking about(experts, organizations in the groups in question, etc) I don't think its fair give people as much flak as they are given. Now I know I'm replying directly to you, but that isn't specifically about you(I don't really know anything about your habits lol) it's just a general observation on the discussion at large.

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Not saying that I agree with one or another here but I think that what kerenRhys was saying is that christians took some religious event from some pagan religions and made it about the birth of Christ. His case was that celebrating Christmas would be akin to celebrate cultural appropriation.

Again not saying he's right or wrong. I just wanted to clarify what I think his point is.

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9 hours ago, MrMenthe said:

Not saying that I agree with one or another here but I think that what kerenRhys was saying is that christians took some religious event from some pagan religions and made it about the birth of Christ. His case was that celebrating Christmas would be akin to celebrate cultural appropriation.

Again not saying he's right or wrong. I just wanted to clarify what I think his point is.

Oh, for sure. I'm just saying that isn't really appropriation - the Christians used replacing existing festivals as a way of spreading their culture at the expense of the old religions. Which is why I consider it more of an act of cultural imperialism.

Of course imperialism/appropriation isn't a clean dividing line (one of the fears of appropriation is that a dominant culture will take parts of a smaller one, change it to suit them, then make that the default over the top of the original), but that feels a bit more clean-cut to me.

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