Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Appropriate Appropriation?

                 Students at Oberlin College have been angered and offended by “culturally appropriative” offerings at the school’s Dascomb Dining Hall. They have vented in the school newspaper and demanded meetings with Campus Dining Service officials and the president of the college. Similar outrage is being expressed on other college campuses around the U.S.
                What’s their beef, one might ask? One student was appalled that General Tso’s chicken was served with steamed chicken instead of fried, as that isn’t authentically Chinese according to one student, who added that it was simply “weird.” (It was probably a mandate from Michelle Obama).
                As if that weren’t enough, one Japanese student protested sushi rice that she claimed was undercooked to the point that she felt it was “disrespectful” of her culture. She further opined, “When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture. So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative,” she said.

                Well, it’s not exactly the Bataan Death March, is it?

                This whole concept of “offensive appropriation” is offensive and insane.
                What if we in America hadn’t “appropriated” the printing press from the Germans? Would we have printed the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States? Or perhaps even (eventually) all the money we gave to help Germany- and Japan- recover from a World War they started?
                Should no country be allowed to “appropriate” medical advances/breakthroughs from any other country? Let’s just let millions die.
                And what of the appropriation of land? As soon as one group of people get someplace, that’s it? How come the college students literally crying in their beer about food appropriation are the same ones demanding that we let immigrants in without even vetting them? Aren’t they appropriating part of America and her freedoms? Or perhaps we are appropriating them? Either way, according to their logic it can’t be good.
                The rest of the world has appropriated a staggering number of things from the U.S., Europe and Asia included. Some excellent political theory and lust for freedom. The telephone, light bulb, internet and many other inventions and technical advances. Look around at all the McDonald’s, Burger King’s and KFC’s in Europe, Japan and even China. Why did they appropriate American fast food joints? I bet they aren’t preparing and serving every single dish the exact same way it is done in the U.S.  And then there is entertainment… music, television and movies. Is it insulting that other countries have “appropriated” American made movies such as Star War’s? Or should it be seen as a compliment?

                What if Eve wasn’t created by the “appropriation” of Adam’s rib?

                These spoiled, coddled, college kids feel endlessly entitled to things no previous generation had. They have a lot to learn. Unfortunately, they are being taught the wrong lessons.

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