Policing cultures, part two.

Samurai hip-hop

The infighting between tribes of Canada’s First Nations over throat singing and “cultural appropriation” is sad. Sadder still is the elevation of toxic junk to the classification of wokeness. Jay-Z said on Ophrah that “hip-hop, through its music and its culture, has had more impact on race relations than any figure or any entity other than Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement. He talked about how whites and blacks can come together in the clubs—even though they might not get together outside the club” (Loc. 291).” What kind of deep and creative art brings them together? Warning ⚠️ the following lyrics are from Jay-Z, if you find them as disgusting as I do, then I guess that means neither of us is truly woke!

”Yo Yo J-A-Y, I flow sick
Fuck all y’all haters blow dick
I spits the game for those that throw bricks
Money cash hoes money cash chicks what
Sex murder and mayhem romance for the street
Only wife of mines is a life of crime
And since, life’s a bitch in mini-skirts and big chests
How can I not flirt with death
That’s life’s a nigga, long as life prevent us
We gonna send a lot and pray to Christ forgive us
Fuck it
Ice the wrists and raise the price on these niggaz
Y’all cant floss on my level
I’ll invite you all to get wit us if ya ball is glitter
When I go all the harlem playaz wall my picture
If you get close enough you can read the scripture
It reads money cash hoes how real was that nigga what”

Are you tempted to tell me I just don’t understand “black culture?” If hip-hop like that truly represents black culture, even reparations won’t cure that disease. Other than pseudo-blacks like Eminem and Vanilla Ice, there is no issue of appropriation of that manifestation of culture. I sure don’t want it. The apostle Paul said, in a letter to Timothy, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” He wasn’t talking about hip-hop per se, or he would have said “burning ears” rather than “itching.” A different kind of cultural conflict is highlighted by a court decision.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg halted the Trump administration’s policy of forcing some asylum seekers to wait on the Mexican side of the border until their claims can be heard by a U.S. immigration court. The judge’s reasoning was pretty shocking: He wrote that the U.S. cannot tell asylum seekers to wait in Mexico because of the threat of violence against them on that side of the border. But wait a darn minute here, aren’t these immigrants Latin Americans, just like Mexicans are Latin Americans, and the people on our side of the border are mostly white racists, but they pose less danger to Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans than Mexicans???

To be clear, Seeborg was not claiming that these immigrants (and specifically the ones who were plaintiffs in the case before him) were fleeing a repressive system. This isn’t East Germans escaping to the West. No, the claim is that they’re fleeing a threat that comes from their neighbors, their local cops, their teenagers. Is murder and violence and corruption a cultural phenomenon? According to this judge, it’s more of one below the border than above. But no one has yet accused a murderer, rapist, or assaulter of cultural appropriation….I don’t think. Unless it isn’t about culture or skin color at all. Maybe nationalism? Or good old fashioned criminality.

Cultural appropriation police.

Tanya Tagaq: “I’m so mad!!!”

Too often, the publication The Guardian is a mouthpiece for Perfectionist Progressives, but this article on a twist on “cultural appropriation”, one of the stupidest and self contradictory ideas to be generated by Outrage Central (the factory where the Perfectionist Progressive machine formulates stupid ideas).

“Another week, another row over cultural appropriation. But this one is different. It’s not a white artist being accused of appropriating the cultural forms of a minority community but an Indigenous Canadian artist being condemned for using the musical style of another Indigenous community. Indigenous musicians in Canada are at one another’s throats over the Cree artist Cikwes’s use of a traditional Inuit singing technique.

Connie LeGrande, who performs under the name Cikwes, was nominated at the Canadian Indigenous Music awards in the best folk album category. LeGrande is a Nehiyaw, or Cree, one of Canada’s First Nations. On her album Isko, she uses katajjaq, a style of throat singing culturally and historically linked to Inuit groups. First Nations are Indigenous groups south of the Arctic Circle, Inuits those who live in the Arctic. For her Inuit critics, Cikwes did not have “permission to… take something that isn’t hers and make an album, and put it on iTunes, and have it for sale”. A number of Inuit artists are boycotting the awards in protest. Lisa Meeches, who oversees the awards, insists that cultural appropriation is not possible within the Indigenous community. Her critics accuse her of “pan-Indigenising” and speaking from a First Nations point of view rather than from an Inuit perspective.

”What the row exposes is that such controversies are less about equity and opposition to racism than about cultural gatekeeping – self-appointed guardians licensing themselves as arbiters of the correct forms of cultural borrowing. Such policing is deeply problematic, both artistically and politically. It’s true that cultural engagement does not take place on a level playing field but is shaped by racism and inequality. Confronting that requires us, however, to challenge racism, not police cultures. It’s difficult to see how creating gated cultures, and fragmenting struggles, helps promote social justice or who it empowers beyond the gatekeepers.”

That last paragraph illustrates the blindness of The Guardian’s point of view. The writer seems to think that “creating gated cultures, and fragmenting struggles” is a phenomenon apart from the idea of cultural appropriation. No, it is an integral part, in fact the foundation of C.A. Once a “people group” i.e. a group of people either self-identified or outside-identified by a label (Inuit, Mexican, Asian, homosexual, Black, White, etc.) are more than two strong, and engage in common behaviors or common customs or arts in common, they can be said have a culture. How did their culture come about? Did they not borrow something from those around them? Were they not somewhat influenced by a different culture? If they existed in total isolation and were not even aware of the existence of any other group, and no one else was aware of them, they might develop a unique indigenous culture. However, I don’t know of any culture in the world which fits the description of the previous sentence. Therefore, no culture or people group “owns” the customs, language, behavior, arts or cuisine that they enjoy. C.A. gatekeepers are simply jealous, or power hungry. It’s sad.

Faucet turns off, squeaks. Dramatic music.

Faucet turn off, squeaks!

Do you know what you are reading here? Sure, Uncle Curmudgeon has lost his marbles, his birds have flown, his elevator stopped going all the way to the top. You wish! I absolutely need captions to understand what is being said in movies, on TV, videos. You probably don’t. That means you have missed one of the truly humorous experiences of life. No, not the weird things I answer when someone asks me a question that I thought I understood, and actually didn’t. My answers could be considered either humorous or senile. No, those truly humorous moments are when captions try to express the noises of inanimate objects.

I was watching my favorite show, Billions, when one of the main characters was having a crisis. She went into the bathroom to wash her face and get herself back together. Just before she put on her game face, the captions read, “faucet turns off, squeaks.” Then, in case you didn’t know what kind of courage it took to adopt that game face, the captions helpfully reminded you, with “dramatic music.”

Like I said, if you don’t use captions, you’re missing half the fun. Okay, you don’t need them…. or at least you don’t think you do. I wasn’t even aware of my hearing loss until a particularly glaring example of not hearing someone’s question. She really reamed me out for ignoring her. My back was turned and I wasn’t even aware she had asked a question. Perhaps you should consider a hearing test, just in case. But even if you truly don’t need captions, should you be intrigued by the silliness of captioning the noises of inanimate objects, turn them on for about a week. If you find that both seeing and hearing what the characters are saying enhances your experience, you may send me a thank you gift, emphatically not tax deductible, to PO Box 9397, Spokane, Washington. 99209. If it doesn’t enhance your experience, and distracts you enough to miss a plot twist in Game of Thrones, or whatever you binge on, then you have an excuse to watch reruns. Either way, you’ll thank me.


Saying “I’m sorry” is a sorry habit.

Today I read three business articles that dealt with counterproductive habits in the workplace. A website, quote-investigator, got the following question: When I mentioned this adage to a friend he claimed that it was in the Bible, but it does not sound very Biblical to me. Can you resolve this dispute?

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

Quote Investigator: “There is a biblical proverb that expresses a similar idea, namely Proverbs 17:28. Here is the New International Version of this verse:  

“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

“The quotations that the questioner listed use a distinctive formulation that is certainly more humorous. In the biblical version one is thought wise if one remains silent, but in the questioner’s statements the word “wise” is not used. Remaining silent simply allows one to avoid the fate of being thought a fool or stupid. This maxim has many different forms, and it is often ascribed to Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain. However, there is no substantive evidence that either of these famous individuals employed the maxim.”

Among the worst verbal habits is overuse of “sorry”, sounding like you’re apologizing. For what? With some people, for everything. But you might wonder, when is it appropriate, and even courageous, to say, “I’m sorry”? How about never! Sorry means nothing, it’s a verbal tic, and deceptive. Sorry you were caught? Sorry that you made a common human mistake? Sorry might be how you feel, or think you’re supposed to feel, but who really cares? What about forgiveness? This is how my wife and I taught our children to ask for forgiveness, and to forgive:

1. State the wrong: “I called you a dirty name. I was wrong to do that.” 2. Eschew the excuses and reasons: Don’t try to explain why, they don’t care, it just sounds mushy, like you are simultaneously asking forgiveness and excusing yourself. 3. Explicitly ask to be forgiven: “Would you please forgive me?” 4. If it’s someone you love and not inappropriate, hug and tell them “I love you.” That’s how we did it. The fruit of doing that as often as you have wronged someone is fellowship without the undercurrent of resentment.

Once, when I had just been hired by a major company as a consultant, I suggested a way to market myself to my boss. He told me not to do it. Then I went and did it anyway. Then I was caught, because one of the people i called was already a client of another consultant. Then my boss called me into his office, and had invited his boss, who invited his boss. So I was confronted with my sin by the office manager, the regional manager and the division manager (it was a big company). I really wanted this position. My boss asked me, “did you do what I told you not to do?” This was my verbatim answer. “I am guilty. I knew what you wanted, but thought I knew best, and I disregarded your explicit instructions. I excused myself by keeping to the letter while disregarding the spirit and intent of your orders.” Have you ever seen a person dumbfounded? How about three? Their mouths were literally open. Before I could screw it up by saying anything more, the regional manager spoke. “None of us have ever heard a confession of guilt before. It’s always excuses or rationalizations or denials. We literally don’t know what to do. We came here prepared to fire you.”

The division manager asked, “what do you think we should do about you?” My reply: “Well, you could still fire me, but this would benefit the company more: How about I fully confess my guilt to all the advisers in the regional quarterly meeting coming up?” They rejected that suggestion as “too harsh.” Ultimately, they did nothing, because they figured my confession was evidence I had learned my lesson. Luckily for them, I had. But here’s the real kicker: At the regional meeting, the regional manager was introducing the new associates. He introduced me as, “the most honest person I have ever met.” Unbelievable? Maybe, but such is the power of a clear, short, self honest confession of guilt. I never said I was sorry, or hung my head. In fact, walking around looking down is another of those counterproductive habits. Be direct and honest, not arrogant. 

Cynical ploy, inhuman cruelty or exposure of hypocrisy?

The extent of this Administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne said in a statement on Friday, April 12. “Using human beings—including little children—as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable, and in some cases, criminal. The American people have resoundingly rejected this Administration’s toxic anti-immigrant policies, and Democrats will continue to advance immigration policies that keep us safe and honor our values,” she added. Breathtaking, I know. Trump is the embodiment of evil. What is this particular furor about. It’s about Trump’s latest rhetoric trap.

“If the Radical Left Democrats all of a sudden don’t want the Illegal Migrants in their Sanctuary Cities (no more open arms), why should others be expected to take them into their communities? Go home and come into our Country legally and through a system of Merit!” Trump responded to the backlash of the White House plan on Saturday morning, April 13, to move illegal immigrants awaiting an asylum decision into “sanctuary cities”. What’s the problem pelosi? If a city is declared a sanctuary city, doesn’t that mean they welcome illegal undocumented aliens immigrants? Or are they angry that their virtue signaling might backfire? Of course Trump has no real intention of moving the illegals into sanctuary cities…..But I wish he would. I simply don’t understand her objection. How does moving the very people for whom the designation “sanctuary cities” was created, to any of those cities, “perpetuate fear” and “demonize immigrants?” Don’t the people of those cities want them there? Someone does, I mean who called them sanctuaries?

But her comments make sense if: most of the people who live in those cities don’t agree with the sanctuary designation; or they don’t want people who are here illegally to move in next door; or the behavior of the immigrants that get moved in will leave a bad impression. Maybe all three? Could it be that the virtue signalers are also snobs and hypocrites? And don’t represent the majority of residents? If that’s true, then Pelosi’s objection is valid. Perhaps most people who are citizens of this country don’t want self-styled elites to declare their homes sanctuaries for those whose first act inside the United States was breaking our law.

Yeah, I get that from their point of view, entering our “deplorable country” illegally is way preferable to living legally where they came from. If that’s the criteria for obeying our laws, let’s let everyone in who feels that way. By the way, who most vociferously objects to sanctuary cities? The people who went through our system legally to become citizens!


how leftists think of you….

NEW HAMPSHIRE TEEN FORCED TO COVER UP TRUMP SHIRT, REMOVE MAGA HAT ON SCHOOL’S ‘PATRIOTIC DAY’. So reads yet another headline about suppression of freedom. Yeah, it might seem like a minor thing, MAGA hat crime, but it’s a perfect example of the “frog in the pot” parable, the one that is used to illustrate how we can gradually get used to something that would be intolerable if we were subjected to it all at once. The actual story here is: Ciretta Mackenzie, a freshman at Epping High School, told Boston 25 she had to borrow a friend’s sweatshirt and took off the hat after being reprimanded for wearing the “MAGA” gear on Monday – which was “America Pride Day” at school. The school’s principal said the iconic red hat and T-shirt violated the school’s dress code policy, which according to Mackenzie, doesn’t say anything about political clothing. “If it said no political gear, I could understand why it was dress code, but it didn’t say that, so I feel like I’m obligated to have my own opinion and other people can have theirs,” she said. “We don’t have to agree, that’s fine.” No young lady, it isn’t fine to stand for freedom, for your right to express yourself, if you disagree with the stultifying orthodoxy of the Perfectionist Progressives!

Why should anyone apologize or be defensive for what they believe, short of advocating physical harm or slander or libel? Isn’t freedom of speech what they told us we were ultimately fighting for in Vietnam? That’s what they told me, before handing me a rifle and pointing me towards the enemy! First we tolerate Twitterings against hatcrime, then harpies screeching old men out of the Palo Alto Starbucks and making students take off their “offending” hats and covering their shirts, and then CNN and MSNBC and WaPo slandering a teenager who was wearing the hat and innocent of wrongdoing. The froggies are barely stirring in their pots as the temperature rises to almost intolerable levels. It looks just like the Nazi strategy against German Jews. How does it inevitably end when you tolerate suppression of freedom, and worse, are expected to apologize for what you believe?

Ask a victim of an intolerant politically correct “rights” commission. Until very recently, the ridiculous harassment of Jack Philips, cake artist extraordinaire, by the Colorado human rights as long as you’re not a Christian commission (CCRC) was one lawsuit after another. Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop was under fire again —the first time for refusing to design the words celebrating two men getting married (to each other)—because he said his Christian beliefs prevented him from creating a cake that celebrated a transgender transition. An attorney had targeted Phillips with that transgender cake. That same attorney later asked Phillips to also design a cake with satanic themes and images.The US Supreme Court had already ruled in the previous case that was brought against Phillips by CCRC that governments and state officials cannot show religious hostility in their decisions. Now there’s new evidence that’s what CCRC was doing with their second legal attack against him.

But the state’s demonstrated and ongoing hostility toward Jack because of his beliefs is undeniable”, said his attorney. One commissioner had already been exposed for calling Phillips a “hater” on Twitter. And former commissioner Diann Rice had called religious freedom “a despicable piece of rhetoric,” prompting the US Supreme Court to rule against the Colorado commission for its anti-religious bigotry. This is the second time the state has launched a failed effort to prosecute him. While it finally appears to be getting the message that its anti-religious hostility has no place in our country, the state’s decision to target Jack has cost him more than six-and-a-half years of his life, forcing him to spend that time tied up in legal proceedings.”

ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell added, “He shouldn’t be driven out of business just because some people disagree with his religious beliefs and his desire to live consistently with them. We look forward to the day when Jack doesn’t have to fear government punishment for his faith or harassment from people who oppose his beliefs.”

That’s what I mean. Being harassed, driven out of business or a restaurant, is only the beginning. What if, instead of defending yourself in court or in the anti social media, or apologizing, you say “no”, “no”, “no.” No, I will not leave my meal, no, I will not take my hat off, no, I will not cover my shirt, no, I will not spend one cent or one minute of my time defending myself in court. I am exercising my right to believe what I want. Go ahead, do your worst. Stand there screeching, I will post YOU on YouTube. Tell me to cover my shirt, I will post YOU stumbling over your lame excuse. Sue me, hand me a subpoena, I will NOT show up in court, you will have to send the police to drag me off to jail while I have friends taking videos, and I will send them to my accuser, they will post him or her explaining why they sent the police.

Are those who believe in freedom still the majority in this country? I guess we would find out, wouldn’t we. That meme above, the hideous creature committing hatcrime? That’s how the leftys and the PPs see conservatives. Why should we be apologizing? You think they will apologize for that hideous characterization? I can’t resist ending with a quote from Takimag, about apologizing. “When calls for apology come, can claims for compensation be far behind? Thereby is raised that greatest hope of humanity, namely the dream of living, or becoming rich, at someone else’s expense. I can’t say that this hope has never occurred to me, and I doubt that there are many people to whom it has never occurred; but it is rarely realized, this hope, and even more rarely does it do any good when it is realized.”

How to recognize a leader.

Jonathan vs. philistines

Jonathan was the son of Saul, Israel’s just anointed king. A king, yes, but not necessarily a leader. There were people loyal to him, but mostly out of fear, or desirous of favors. Saul was hasty, harsh and selfish. Now Saul and his army were facing the dreaded philistines, outnumbered, and reluctant to begin the battle. But not Jonathan.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.” And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul. – 1 Samuel 14:6-7. So Jonathan attacked the garrison with just his armor bearer, and his iron faith in God. Note the words of his armor bearer in bold. That’s true loyalty, for Jonathan was a true leader.

Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, and his armor-bearer after him. And they fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer killed them after him. And that first strike, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, killed about twenty men within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land. And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic. – 1 Samuel 14:13-15. Obviously, the Lord was my bringing the victory. But Saul almost managed to screw it up with his ego. “His enemies?” No, they were enemies of Israel, and therefore of God.

And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. Now when all the people came to the forest, behold, there was honey on the ground. And when the people entered the forest, behold, the honey was dropping, but no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright. Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly charged the people with an oath, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food this day.'” And the people were faint. Then Jonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have become bright because I tasted a little of this honey. 1 Samuel 14:24-29. To make matters yet worse, Saul valued his oath more than the victory or his own son.

Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” And Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the tip of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am; I will die.” And Saul said, “God do so to me and more also; you shall surely die, Jonathan.” Then the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has worked this great salvation in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people ransomed Jonathan, so that he did not die. 1 Samuel 14:43-45. The people had to ransom Jonathan from his father’s rash curse; they loved Jonathan more than Saul, even though Saul was the king. When David eventually replaces Saul as king, the people loved him like they loved Jonathan. When David and Jonathan met, the Bible says “their souls were knit together.” When Jonathan died in battle, David lamented his death bitterly, saying “your love was greater than women.” And David had plenty of love for women, but rarely does a natural leader find the friendship of another natural leader. David and Jonathan were rare leaders, and forged a bond that was broken only by death.