yakalskovich: (Medieval)
Cultural appropriation is what they yell in the (sometimes painfully) Politically Correct circles on tumblr when somebody adapts style element that are associated with some sort of underprivileged culture.

For example:

  • White people should not wear dreads -- this hairstyle belongs to the black culture, so it's appropriation (Warning: NSFW image behind link!)
  • Non-Asian-descended Americans and Europeans converting to Buddhism is such a silly fad and insults the people of Tibet, Myanmar etc., where Buddhism is such an important part of their struggle.
  • White people should not rap -- ditto
  • White or black people should not incorporate the Dia de los Muertos elements in their Halloween festivities. That's Mexican. Cultural appropriation! No sugar skulls for you!
  • Westerners should not get large tattoos of swirly ornaments. Please stick to your hearts and mermaids. Tribal tattoos belong to South Sea people; adopting them is cheap cultural appropriation. Oh, and Scythians. But Scythians are different. They are dead.
  • Westerners should not enjoy Korean soap operas with people wearing outrageous clothes. They are for Koreans only. Cultural appropriation!
  • White people should not enjoy Bollywood movies, or cook Indian meals, or drink chai or lassi, while they do so. Combining bright pink and bright orange is stealing Indian culture, too. Cultural appropriation!
  • Straight men are required to dress drably and be rude louts. If they take good care of their clothes, looks and living space, thinking about the effect it will have, and are attentive and caring to others instead of kicking back and watching football while drinking beer, they're culturally appropriating the behaviour of their girlfriends' gay BFFs in order to gain points - booooh!
  • Westerners should not get into manga, anime, or cosplay. They shouldn't even practice zen, ikebana, or kendo. That's Japanese, and doing it is bad, bad cultural appropriation!
  • Protestant people should be completely barred from owning Orthodox icons, let alone display them on their walls.
  • German or English people should not listen to Irish Folk. Celtic knot-work, and tartans, are off-limits, too. Especially tartans. Absolutely nobody who is not Celtic should wear anything remotely like plaid! Keep your greedy Germanic paws off our Celtic heritage. Booo! Cultural appropriation! P.S.: And don't you dare hold an impromptu wake on the night before your grandfather's funeral, with four people reminiscing and working their way down the bottle of the strong stuff into the wee small hours. Don't even call it wee small hours to start with! Shush!
  • Pizza and spaghetti are Italian. It's really inappropriate to culturally appropriate a small Mediterranean country's cuisine into world-wide favourite staples, especially for kids. Boooh!
  • Westerners should not make porcelain and display it in special China cabinets. They shouldn't even import it from China. Porcelain is for the Chinese people only. Oh, and please give us back our tea!
  • Speaking of which, coffee is Arabic. And chocolate is Mexican. If you drink any of these, it's cultural appropriation.
  • Christian westerners, stick to your apples and pears! Peaches and dates are oriental, and it's really the height of cultural appropriation to first send a large number of crusades into the east and then steal our fruit as well. Oh, and dainty moorish columns look ridiculous on your northerly castles. Don't do it!
  • Draco standards! A Scythian/Sarmatian invention! Every last damn barbaric army throughout this entire Migration age hullaballoo adopting them is really a blatant case of cultural appropriation.
  • Roman women shouldn't bleach their hair to try and turn blonde like their lovely Germanic and Celtic slaves, that's ridiculous and unbecoming!
  • No more cult of Mithras! It's a ridiculous imported eastern religion unbecoming a Roman or Greek. Same holds true for the worship of Isis. Oh, and that weird cult, what do they call it again? Christianity? That's a Jewish sect, for Jupiter's sake!
  • Erm, no, actually, we don't want any former pagans to become Christians in the first place. This man Saulus who now calls himself Paul is going down totally the wrong path and encouraging people to culturally appropriate. That's all wrong...
  • Keeping cats is an Egyptian custom. You Romans, Greeks, Northmen, Persians, Scythians, what have you, really really should keep your hands off our beloved and revered pets. You don't even worship them properly but merely like them. Blasphemy! Cultural appropriation!
  • First those Romans conquer Greece, and then they copy all our statues and equate their rustic gods with our own. And that hack Virgil writes this ridiculous pseudo-Odyssey about Aeneas from Troy to justify that they, too, are descended from civilised and historic people mentioned in Homer. If you get down to it, it's just blatant fanfic. Actually, they steal everything from our culture that isn't on the trees at the count of three. It's deeply embarrassing, and highly ridiculous. Really. Romans culturally appropriate fucking anything!
  • We are Tibet! We have Bön! Do we really need to culturally appropriate Buddhism from India?
  • We are China! We have Confucianism! Do we really need to culturally appropriate Buddhism from Tibet?
  • We are Japan! We have Shintô! Do we really need to culturally appropriate Buddhism from China?
  • We don't want those big rude hunter-gatherers with their big rude dogs to adopt our way of keeping cattle and tilling the ground to plant and harvest grain, fruit, and herbs. They're all over the continent, and we are sitting here on the shore of Lake Balaton, a tiny minority from the south-east. Neolithic revolution isn't for mainstream mesolithic culture to appropriate!
  • Trading ways of working flint and bone, and painting the walls of caves, up and down the Danube and the Rhone really means that one culture appropriates the specialities of another, and that's really not done! We must all keep our customs separate so everybody can see which is which.
I think you catch my drift? What they call 'cultural appropriation' and deplore is really at the heart of human history. We wouldn't work without it. I keep finding more and more examples, but have to get myself to work now.

Cultural cross-pollination, even thought it may have seemed ridiculous at the time and/or in hindsight, is what friggin' drove the development of human culture throughout history. A kendoka from East Germany with bright red dreadlocks in a bright red hakama? Probably ridiculous and culturally appropriating in too many ways than can be told before I need to catch my train. But really, that's where the world is going.

Culture doesn't belong to anybody. It kind of sloshes around in the global meme pool. When privileged strangers start experimenting with whatever other people have done for ages, it may look a bit silly; but after a few centuries, chinoiserie cabinets and mithraeums will be regarded as the classical expressions of rococo and Roman culture, respectively...
yakalskovich: (Lupus in fabula)
Wolves seem to be the ultimate accessory for a fashion shoot this autumn.

Exhibit 1:

((from here))

Exhibit 2:

((found here originally, also here))
yakalskovich: (Nebra Sk Disc)
I think this is the modern digital-photographic equivalent of what conscientious restorers of museum objects have been done for decades: when you put a Greek vase or a medieval garment back together for display, you use some contrastingly neutral material for the parts that are missing, plain grey linen among all the tyrian-purple-and-gold, or some white clay for the parts of the delicate red-figures vase that remains missing. If broken statues have hands, but not arms, they get steel bars or thin pieces of concrete.

This is what you do when you want to photoshop the background out from a candid picture of a celebrity and make a point of how honest you are, and that you're not 'shopping' the picture: you roughly outline the real object of the picture, then invert the selection and blur the rest. Roughly enough to leave that odd halo-like margin of in-focus background, but still well enough to focus solely on what you want to show.

I must admit it looks odd, but I guess we'll get used to it.-

Of course, Christina Hendricks looks stunning as always. And if this new principle gives me an excuse to repost the picture of her which I found it on, all the better...

[[From here]]
yakalskovich: (Medieval)
I got my package from the BPAL ripoff 'Conjure Oils' today; I'd found I'd wanted an entire bottle of their 'Litha' scent that [livejournal.com profile] moons_storm had sent me an imp of some while ago. And unlike BPAL, they do have sensible procedures for international shipping.

I'd ordered a bunch of imps with it, just out of curiosity, and one of them is the first real stinker I ever encountered among all those highly alternative perfume oils from America.

'Blood Moon -- October' smells like rancid Marmite and tomcat's spunk. With a dash of capsicum.

yakalskovich: The Nazgul and I in nun costumes at Kaltenberg posing with a bloke dressed as Jack Sparrow (Jack Sparrow makes nuns happy!)
Because the German football team was playing the Australian one tonight, the Nazgul and I went to the Australian pub around the corner, hoping to see blood. Or at least some creative crowd control measures.

We ordered a Fosters each and waited, metaphorical popcorn at the ready.

There were these two sad Australian hipsters right in front of us (cut out of this picture because, honestly, taking pictures of perfect strangers with the express purpose of mocking them online is not nice) that first had their drinks taken away again (because somebody else had ordered the same combination first, it seems) and then sat there, earnestly sharing a portion of potato wedges. The bloke had taken out a little plush koala with that sort of grabbing mechanism and put it on the lapel of his shirt as a sign he supported Australia. The rest of the Australian supporters were these people in yellow shirts.

However, everything went perfectly peacefully. There was no blood, nor any sort of enmity. Only glumness, as the poor Aussies didn't want to be seen being sore losers. After the German team had scored the first goal, a camera team with a big professional-looking TV camera came to film some Australian fans being unhappy, which they achieved when the second goal was scored. Luckily, only a single person in the whole pub had one of those infernal vuvuzelas. But the droning sound from the TV was unlike any other football noise before.

[livejournal.com profile] essayel had said in thread earlier that Aristophanes compared the sound of bagpipes to a wasp farting in a bottle. A stadium full of vuvuzelas sounds like a million of those wasp-farts.

And no, having only one and blowing it from time to time is pointless. The point is to have many and create the wasp-fart effect, or more correctly, drone.

Somebody ought to have told that to whoever it was who kept on forlornly tooting his vuvuzela through the sound of heavy rain that we heard after we came back at half-time and made dinner. Whether the TV team scored any footage of bawling Australians, we don't know. At least the rain precluded all noisy victory celebrations.

In unrelated news, my cats are snoring.-
yakalskovich: (Mummy smurf)
Coming home from work just now (after a decompression stop at Massimo's, the little Italian café on the way to thee station), I saw a woman taking pictures of that incredibly badly photoshopped election poster I posted about.

I made a remark along the lines of my other post (including Vernon Dursley because, hey, Harry Potter is common knowledge and not arcane geekery!), and she said that yes, she could hardly believe it was genuine and not a joke.

But I think she meant the worshipful, almost loving, expression with which the local candidate is gazing at the minister, almost as if it was a slashy manip.

But of course it's not, because anybody doing slashy manips knows how to smooth over that harsh cut on the minister's sleeve.-

ETA: OMG that guy has his own Wikipedia page, and he's already a member of parliament. People here have voted for him!!! Well, the constituency isn't just Haidhausen; people here would rather vote for Father Christmas than for that guy, from that party. But the rest of the eastern outskirts of Munich? Gah!
yakalskovich: (Reality is a rotten place to be)
In other news: Woody Allen has completely lost his f***ing mind!!!

And not just because I am a disappointed fan of that woman. I mean, all movies she has been in so far have been soft porn at some time in the late eighties!
yakalskovich: (Mephisto)
I felt moved to protest the discrimination of my cats, using purple felt marker at the dead of night:

In the meanwhile, Vernon Dursley is running for parliament here in Munich, as I said:

Funnily enough, he seems to be using a different name.-

Note the incredibly bad photoshopping of that candidate together with his party's new great white hope, the relatively recently appointed minister of economy. I would bet that slick shark would never have the time of day of such a measly local candidate, he's faaaaaaar too important. (Eurgh!) Of course, they're both from that party which Has Always Been Elected In Bavaria, but they should look to Japan, tremble, and stop doing content-free electioneering, and incredibly bad DTP...
yakalskovich: (Bad joke)
Seems that at the moment there is so little happening here (with everybody still gone for holidays), the newspapers have SERIOUS problems filling their pages.

Headline in the provincial newspaper some old guy was reading on the train when I went to work:

"Fish Attack At Bathing Lake! Little Boy's Toe Bitten!"

Follows a colour picture of some ugly whingy seven-year-old brat sitting on a meadow in his bathing trunks showing his foot, which to me looks perfectly healthy, and a long-ass article.

Because some kid went swimming and fish nibbled on its toes! That is NEWS in early September in rural Bavaria!!

In other news, Vernon Dursley is running for parliament in Munich. Pictorial proof later, when I'm at home at my computer and can upload pictures.-
yakalskovich: (Medieval)
The word of the day is this:

It is in sign language, and here you see me demonstrating it -- I don't know sign language, so the 'pronunciation' might be a bit off. It is the term with which the sign language interpreter on my favourite documentary channel, Phoenix, started today's translation of the main evening news. Phoenix broadcasts the public channel news simultaneously, with added sign language.

It obviously means something like 'great, catastrophic defeat'. And yes, it is very good news that has me grinning like a gingerbread horse. And this is why:

In today's elections for the Bavarian state parliament, the Bavarian Conservatives (CSU) for the first time ever didn't get more then 50% and will now need a coalition, having lost their absolute majority.

Now, you must know that the Bavarian Conservatives aren't like your ordinary British, French, Italian, what have you conservatives, or even the German mainstream conservatives -- they are terribly right-wing hard-liners, arch-catholic, borderline xenophobes, and the sort of traditionalists associated with lederhosn, loud thumping brass band music, beer tent politics, and quaffing from one litre beer steins.

Their leader claimed only a few days ago that any red-blooded man can still drive with two of those two-pint beers inside, and thought that a valid commentary to the problem of drunk driving.

That's the sort of politics they make; and the Catholic priests tell their rural congregations that they should go and vote for them for several Sundays in advance, and of course they do what their priest said from the pulpit.

They are that sort of conservatives.

Today, their 50 years of undisputed stranglehold in this state has been broken.-
yakalskovich: (Blacherniotissa)
In a fit of its usual dementia coupled with mindless patriotism, Germany's leading conservative tabloid, 'Bild' (also known as 'Die Bildzeitung), triumphs mightily about the German cardinal Ratzinger being elected pope, filling its title page with 6 inch high letters proclaiming:

This translates to :


I knew about Palpatine, but the Borg as well???

And yes, it sounds just as silly and inappropriate in German...

ETA: Der Spiegel, the magazine/news site [livejournal.com profile] wiebke refers to, actually has a picture of the title page, complete with a hand so the fearsome size of the letters becomes apparent:

ETA 2: Telepolis is already mocking that title page as well. Sorry, those last two links are in German.
yakalskovich: (The Princess' typist in RW)
The mass email and fax mailing I just had to send out contained the following sentence:

"Wie ein Schiff ohne Ruder im offenen Meer treibt ein Unternehmen in den Gezeiten der Wirtschaft führungslos umher, wenn es nicht auf der Grundlage zeitnah ermittelter Daten gesteuert wird."

That means:

"Like a ship without a rudder on the open sea, an enteprise will drift leaderless with the tides of the economy unless it is steered on the basis of near-realtime data."

Never mind the truth or falsehood of this claim, I merely gag at the metaphor. This is possibly the worst metaphor ever - and I work for a bunch of losers that pay somebody to write such utterly offending, nauseating and verbose offal!!

*is ashamed*

Really, the fellow who perpetrated the sentence belongs poisoned, shot (twice), bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument and then drowned in ice water! Alternatively, he should at least be painted as a porcupine, dragged behind a chariot, and then possibly burned in angry purple fire...

Also, I heard that that journalist in question went to Istanbul on a press tour, and there spent the night in his hotel room watching pay-per-view pr0n channels and leaving the bill for the hosting company to pick up. I wasn't going to tell that to anybody, but now, after this sentence, he is game. On Friday, the our office gossip hub node comes back from a trade fair and will then speedily be informed of this.

ETA: we just got the first answer that totally lampoons this revolting and factually incorrect sentence:

"Früher war man, wenn man sich mit dem Schiff auf dem Ozean verirrte und die Küstenlinie nicht mehr sah, so gut wie sicher dem Tode ausgeliefert. Nur die Offiziere konnten ja navigieren. Heute macht es der Skipper. Gut dass es beim Segeln noch kein ERP gibt!"

("In old times you were facing almost certain death when you lost your way sailing on the oceans and souldn't see the coastline any more. Only the officers were able to navigate. Today, the skipper has to do it. What a relief that there's no ERP yet in sailing!")

yakalskovich: (The Princess at Home)
This just came to my attention.

The bright red writing on blue-patterned background will make you see-sick within seconds...

(And score music as background picture!! And that ridiculous moving globe!! Arrrggghhh!!!)


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