Among all the tedious but thankfully transient Politically Correct words and phrases drifting around today, such as woke and triggered (which lead us to wonder whether if people opted to rest peacefully in their beds we might have fewer shootings) comes the ever-charming Cultural Appropriation.
I used to think this particular notion was merely the result of too many spoiled and self-indulgent people having far too much time on their hands. But now, gentle reader, I recognize the error of my ways. In today’s parlance, I have become woked.
Or something like that, at least.
Before I prostrate myself (virtually if not physically) before the Great Gods of the Internet and recant the errors of my former un-wokerized self, let’s sketch briefly what Cultural Appropriation is.
Cultural Appropriation is the utilization of one or more artifacts associated with a particular group, region, nation, culture, or K-Pop band (though I confess I may have simply invented this last one).
It is thus a very wide concept indeed. It can include pretty much anything at all, and that is its great charm. When we wake in the morning and, being fortunate enough to live in a world full of food to eat and entertainments to gawp at, we find ourselves short of something to feel aggrieved about we can instantly rectify our unfortunate situation by means of reaching for Cultural Appropriation. Someone, somewhere, is surely wearing or saying or doing something that someone else out there must surely find hurtful to their feelings.
Because, dear reader, feelings are paramount. We must never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, risk hurting someone’s feelings because of something we’ve done or not done, said or not said, worn or not worn. It is Very Bad Indeed to hurt someone’s feelings. Especially someone you don’t even know exists.
Now, you may think that every single culture on Earth is the result of borrowing from cultures that went before or alongside. You may believe that human social structures don’t arise out of nothing, sui generis, but are composites of historical precedents. But, sweet reader, while you would be factually correct you would be Very Wrong Indeed from a Politically Correct perspective.
We must instead imagine that whatever culture is being defended came into existence all at once in pristine and glorious fashion that was wondrous to behold and far beyond the reckoning of mere mortals. This culture, whatever it is, has existed unchanged for all time. Or at least for the last ten minutes, which is about as far back as most people can remember these days.
Furthermore, although this wonderful culture may be pristine, those for whom it is a spiritual home know it is easily wounded. A thoughtless decoration, word, or item of clothing can scar those who understand the true symbolism of the culture. You may think that scarf you’re wearing or the word you like to use is harmless affectation but no, you are committing a Crime Against Humanity. Because someone, somewhere, may get their feelings hurt.
Shame on us all, suitably contrite reader, for our hitherto blithe insensitivity!
Fortunately, a solution is at hand. Once we understand how all-pervasive Cultural Appropriation can be, we also find before us, shimmering wondrously like a heavenly vision, the means whereby to prevent it.
First we must abjure all mathematics, because the numbers we use were Culturally Appropriated from the Arab world, which was very, very wrong. As most people can’t even perform rudimentary metal arithmetic, casting aside numbers should be easy.
Next, we must cease the production of written texts for all European and Slavic languages use shamefully Appropriated character sets deriving from Latin. We stole from the Romans and now it’s time to stop. Even Asian and Semitic texts must cease, for although their ideograms and characters weren’t Culturally Appropriated from Rome they were standardized in consequence of using printing technologies, which of course are Cultural Appropriations from German culture and thus irredeemably tainted.
Finally, and I confess it causes me a pang of grief to write it, we must bid adieu to the Internet for its fundamental underpinnings are a Cultural Appropriation from DARPA and thus in no uncertain terms a deep and irrevocable part of US culture which the rest of us should not be using lest we hurt the feelings of someone Down South or Up North or In The Middle Somewhere But Saving Up To Move To California.
Once the Internet has shut down, we can rest safely in our beds, secure in the knowledge that henceforth shameful hurtful Cultural Appropriations can no longer be thrust into our consciousness from thousands of kilometers away.
We’ll just have to content ourselves with working ourselves up into a self-righteous lather over matters closer to home.
After which, perhaps, mummy and daddy will tell us to stop being so silly and focus instead on things that really do matter.