Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rate the cultural misappropriation

There has been a lot of discussion lately about cultural misappropriation, sparked by new language in the proposed new Principles and Purposes. Much of the discussion has been largely theoretical; the only examples given were a few songs, and several of those didn't even originate in the culture now complaining of misappropriation. Here is an example tailor made for this discussion- a Pagan Seder . This is a perfect case to examine because the link provides the complete text, music, foods served, venue, and biography of the author.

Is this:

Perfectly ok, because he mentions that the original is a Jewish custom.

While not the worst ever, he stills falls short by not providing a lecture or handout explaining the context of the original customs, why they are still observed, and how his situation relates. In fact, it wouldn't have hurt to have invited a rabbi to speak.

An abomination- he mixes music and foods and questionable history and rituals willy-nilly, and some of the music even has multiple levels of misappropriation even before he misused it for his ritual.

I don't know from misappropriation- he served venison; he's a Bambi-killing barbarian!
How do you rate it?


Jaume de Marcos Andreu said...

The "best" thing about the ritual is that it seems to imply that the religions of the Neolithic, the religions of Greece and Rome (including such good friends of the Romans as the Celts), the "Burning Times" (so there are people who still believe in that??), the Golden Dawn, and Wicca are parts of the same religion, i.e. "Paganism". The man needs a crash course in History of Religions to say the least.

Joel Monka said...

Yes, Jaume, sadly, there are such people. Here's a good reference to send "playgans", "fluffy bunnies", or "blessed wann be's": Wicca for the Rest of Us

PeaceBang said...

Jaume, I'm sure you're not denying that hundreds of thousands of women (and some men, but mostly women) were tortured and burned as witches between 1450-1750 all over Europe? Not the nine million that many pagans authors claim, but without question, hundreds of thousands. The judicial records are there for anyone to read.
Of course these people weren't Wiccans or anything like it, given that that religion wasn't invented until the 20th century by Gerald Gardner...