Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cultural Appropriation and the Canadian Tuxedo

Dressing yesterday, I found myself for the first time, much to my surprise, donning a Canadian tuxedo, and feeling good about it. But then, I thought, as a non-Canadian, am I not guilty of Cultural Appropriation, the latest mortal sin in the moral theology of the Left?

I then thought further, and wondered, is not Canada just as guilty for having appropriated American denim as her national costume? But then we learn that denim comes from "the French phrase serge de Nîmes ("serge from Nîmes"), after the French town of Nîmes, where denim fabric was originally produced," so both North American nations stand guilty before the French. But then, all of us, American, Canadian, and French, the white folk among us anyway, are all already guilty, right?

I turned to Razib Khan's recent post on the topic, "Cultural Appropriation and Cultural (d)Evolution," but he offers no guidance, only saying that "the idea of 'cultural appropriation' is an academic term that has bled into mainstream discussion as a way for various elites to police people and put them in their place." Perhaps then, I need to plumb the works of Claude Lévi-Strauss before I can feel safe wearing the clothing made most famous by Levi Strauss.

In a recent musical post of mine, all three of the American males can be seen wearing the Canadian tuxedo without a hint of shame — The Dave Rawlings Machine Perform "Short Haired Woman Blues," "The Last Pharaoh," "The Weekend" & "Sweet Tooth"

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