Saturday, November 17, 2018

Shut Up and Sing or Just Shut Up

I suppose you can keep the fight going indefinitely if you refuse to accept reality. But to the rest of us it looks like all the challenges filed in the Georgia and Florida elections were paper tigers.

calvin hobbes cheating

So when you lose despite getting all the votes money can buy perhaps you should just concede gracefully instead of accusing your opponent of racism and voter suppression.

But for now allow me to turn to more important news: the latest Trump-is-a-racist allegation-not-based-on-his anti-migrating-horde position. This is a good one that I’m sure will stick: awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Elvis Presley was a racist act as it is well known that the King culturally appropriated black music.

Let’s review: the Cambridge English Dictionary defines “cultural appropriation” thusly, “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.”

A few problems with the allegation, first, when Elvis did it such attribution was considered a tribute not an insult, secondly, we didn’t have different cultures back in the 50’s, we were all Americans regardless of our race, color or creed. And third, he was rather open about his admiration for his inspiration.

“The colored folks been singing it and playing it just like I’m doin’ now, man, for more years than I know. They played it like that in their shanties and in their juke joints and nobody paid it no mind ’til I goosed it up. I got it from them. Down in Tupelo, Mississippi, I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now and I said if I ever got to a place I could feel all old Arthur felt, I’d be a music man like nobody ever saw.” - Elvis Presley

It seems pretty obvious that he both understood and respected the cultural roots of his version of rock ‘n roll.


So here’s all I have to say: shut up and sing.

cultural appropriation