Back Away From That Pizza!
In June, a group of self-righteous crusaders from 189 countries calling themselves â€œindigenous advocatesâ€ met as part of â€œa specialized international committee within the World Intellectual Property Organizationâ€¦, a United Nations agency.â€
The group urged the UN to make â€œcultural appropriationâ€ illegal world-wide.
â€œCultural appropriationâ€ is defined as the adoption or unauthorized use by one culture of another cultureâ€™s language, dress, folklore, cuisine, dance, music, traditional medicine, religious symbols and/or other traditions which activists imagine to be violations of the collective intellectual property rights of the originating culture.
Theyâ€™ve been chewing it over for more than half a generation: â€œ[T]he committee has been working on creatingâ€¦international law that would expand intellectual-property regulationsâ€¦â€ since 2001.
Theyâ€™re deadly serious, too: â€œJames Anaya, dean of law at the University of Colorado, said the UN’sâ€¦document should â€˜obligate states to create effective criminal and civil enforcement procedures to recognize and prevent the non-consensual taking and illegitimate possession, sale and export of traditional cultural expressions.â€™â€œ
Got that? Criminal enforcement and civil liabilities. Ironically, the activists â€œcriminallyâ€ violated their own proposed orthodoxy on â€œnon-consensual taking.â€ The English words â€œcultureâ€ and â€œappropriateâ€ were appropriated from Latin. So, via Old French, was â€œconsent.â€
In fact, if all the words appropriated from non-English sources were removed from this sentence, â€œDelegates from 189 countriesâ€¦are in Geneva this week as part of a specialized international committee within the World Intellectual Property Organization,â€ it would read, â€œ_____________.â€
Emotionally-adolescent campus cultural militants are already on board. But, taking the â€œheritageâ€ crusadersâ€™ proposition beyond its already-illogical conclusion, many of us, especially undergraduates, might starve, because the pizza shops in every college town in America would necessarily close. Since it was originally â€œappropriatedâ€ from China, Italians and Italian restaurants would no longer be allowed to consume or serve pasta.
If the UN were to apply cultural appropriation bans fairly and comprehensively, the world economy would collapse. The rest of the world could not â€œappropriateâ€ uniquely American traditions and inventions, either.
The rest of the world would have to give up automobiles, electricity, telephones, the transistor, microprocessors, digital and personal computing, the Internet, social media, chemotherapy and other wonder drugs, baseball, basketball, zippers, Velcro, traffic signals, microwave ovens, assembly line manufacturing, the global positioning/navigation satellite system, air traffic control, video games, washing machines, televisions, industrial robots, lasers, ice cream cones, â€œbendyâ€ straws, fortune cookies (uh-huh, American), peanut butter, blue jeans, electric guitars, rock-and-roll, blues music and jazz, among many thousands of other American innovations.
Humorless social justice warriors cannot seem to grasp the concept that the cross-popularity of cultural elements, especially in Americaâ€™s melting-pot, isnâ€™t so much appropriation as is it is appreciation for the foods, traditions and practical applications of useful, pleasant, attractive and/or tasty products, designs and ideas. They clearly donâ€™t understand that denying things to willing consumers simply for having the â€œwrongâ€ DNA is the most moronic sort of racism.
Rather than cultural purity, left-wing culture enforcers seek control. But, until these self-appointed no-fun nannies give up, we can enjoy ridiculing them.