A few months ago I was listening to the song “Savage Love” by Jason Derulo. I thought it was a nice song with a fun beat.

Daughter: You can’t listen to that song. There’s a petition on (insert social media outlet here) to ban it.

Me: Why?

Daughter: Because it steals the theme from a Polynesian song

Me: And?

Daughter: First of all the song mimics another. Secondly, Derulo isn’t of that culture so he is using something without the full understanding of what it means

Me: Isn’t music basically just the same seven notes, just arranged slightly differently. After awhile, doesn’t all music, consciously or unconsciously mirror itself?

Should we ban music because it may or may not mirror something else?

Last week I wanted to watch “The Prom” on Netflix. “The Prom” is loosely based on a true story about a person who wanted to bring their same sex date to prom, and all that ensued afterwards. My daughter said we shouldn’t be watching it because we should be banning James Corden because he’s straight and plays his gay character very stereotypically gay.

Last year there was much brouhaha about the novel “American Dirt” because the author was not Latinx. It was said that she shouldn’t be writing about an experience that she knows nothing about, even though she researched the book for years.

Is music bad because it riffs off something else?

Is it time for Meryl to give her Oscars for “Sophie’s Choice” and “The Iron Lady” because she is neither British nor Polish?

Now that Gatsby is public domain, do we not allow any adaptations of it?

I listened to Savage Love, watched The Prom and read American Dirt.

Am I a bad person?

By doing these things, am I hurting someone or something?

Is my behavior egregious?

While worrying about the government becoming Big Brother….have people, regular everyday people, become big brother?

The other day I posted about how a friend of a friend got suspended from Facebook with no cause or reason. A few people responded that the most likely cause of getting suspended from a social media outlet is by someone reporting you.

Regular person A reports another regular person Z. Person Z is not given a trial. They are not given a reason.

They are just considered guilty.

No charge given.

Just a verdict rendered.

Am I the only one who thinks there is a problem with this?

Aren’t we supposed to be ending profiling?

Is by doing more profiling the way to end profiling?

Or are we just allowed to report anyone who doesn’t agree with us?

If someone doesn’t like this post, instead of ignoring it and moving on, should they report me because they think I an inciting something?

Because I am speaking out of place?

Because I don’t know anything?

Because they don’t agree with me?

Back in November when I wrote the idea for this post, in my mind it was about music: how all songs borrow from one another in some way. But as I began to write this morning, I realized how much this specific example reflects a wider problem- how when you give someone a little power, how it can be used for good, and for not so good.

We have all, individually, somehow become judge, jury and executioner…

If we don’t stop judging others, things will never get better

65 thoughts on “Savage

  1. It seems the moral of your post is to think for oneself. Be your own person. Don’t fall into herd thinking. I try to practice all of the above. On the other hand, it’s important to listen to and respect another person’s opinion. (True Confession: I need a lot of work in this area).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the blind copy/paste share culture without reading the fine print. People post things, and others just blindly share them. I’ve seen intelligent people share things that are just ridiculous. So one said yesterday that “speed bumps” have been considered when it comes to sharing something…a way of not letting things be copy and posted indiscriminately.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Esp with the young which is so eyeball-rollingly annoying. Can’t imagine they’re ready to give up Cinco de Mayo but hey, if you ain’t Mexican all that partying is nothing more than cultural appropriation, right? No margaritas for you kiddos..gotta be consistent with all this holier than thou stuff.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. I am so with on all of this. I swear pretty soon we will not be able to voice our opinion, have freedom of speech, and read or watch what we like. It seems like if big brother isn’t watching you someone else is. BTW, I hear the same things from my youngest daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is great “old” movie from 1972 that is based upon Kurt Vonnegut’s story “Between Time and Timbuktu.” Without getting too detailed, a guy wins a contest to be an ordinary person (non-astronaut) blasted into outer-space. Once launched, he becomes stuck in the “Chronosynclastic Infundibulum” where multiple versions of himself experience different times and worlds. In one of those worlds, society attempts to make everyone “equal.” So if someone has bad vision, everyone must wear glasses to make their vision bad. If someone has bad hearing, you must wear ear muffs. If someone is fat, you must carry extra weight. And on and on – you git the idea. Disobedience will get you killed by the police. Really, is this what we’re becoming? What happened to “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?” Is there nothing we can do that doesn’t generate criticism? Gee folks, Chill Out! This is not to say that there can’t be instances of negative cultural appropriation, it happens (just drive through South Dakota if you wish to see an example). But hell, don’t carry this to the extreme or we will all be silenced and facing execution.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have to be so careful about how we label things. And that’s the problem…we are trying to clean up things and make things equal, but what we’re doing is enforcing uniformity. We have to take the blinders off and look at the bigger picture for a moment .

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I can’t keep up with what I’m supposed to be boycotting and why. I can’t bring myself to care most of the time I suppose, hence I don’t know these things. One of the best sayings around is “mind your own knitting.” Not everything need matter to everyone. Chill out, people.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was in the VA today and I asked several Vietnam Vets who they voted for. My husband was horrified and say later, “I wouldn’t have told you.” None of your business. I was nervous as husband has to have an operation to remove tumors this week and it could be dangerous. They were all Trump supporters, so I say, “Thank you” and we moved on. They didn’t judge me and I didn’t judge them. I took into account who they were and their experience which brought tears to my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it depends on whether the original author is credited. You might consider how would you feel if someone copied this blog and claimed it as their own…
    As for appropriating culture – writers are supposed to put themselves in other people’s shoes. But if they turn the story/character into a stereotype, publishers should point out to them that they need a sensitivity reader – someone from that group – to read it through and comment. At least then they can they say they’ve done their due diligence. This is nothing new. For example, people would never write a character as stereotypical as Fagin these days. And rightly, since he’s a stereotype that Dickens sought to correct afterward. (By adding “good Jews” into his books, and by removing references to “the Jew” from the latter part of the book, once he realized how it was coming across.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m guessing a traditional Polynesian folk tune is now public domain. Secondly, are we saying that writer of music is guilty of plagiarizing or do we think it’s plagiarizing? I’ve seen plenty of ideas similar to mine, but how exactly do you prove something was copied with intent? These are all issues that have to be dealt with in other ways than just “we need to ban”. How do you define “too gay”? And then does that mean we don’t watch a movie which is pro gay and sends a positive message about alternate lifestyles? Then, does that mean that people who are flamboyantly gat are bad? Do only gay actors play gays parts and only straight actors play straight parts to stop from someone portraying something as stereotypical? Then what about sarcasm and irony? While you raise some interesting ideas, I think the larger picture of gang mentality and picking on something or someone is one that needs to be addressed. Do we have the right to decide to ban something because we don’t like it? Does the accused have the ability to defend the self?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. If there’s a copyright. And is it disrespectful to borrow from a culture. These are all great questions but won’t get answered if we ban things without discussion or talk. The problem is we when we arbitrarily decide to ban or petition against something without understanding the issue.

        Like

  7. Few things:
    1. People in our daughters’ generation (including our daughters) are always boycotting or mad about something. I started taking everything my 19-y-o said about social justice issues with a grain of salt long ago.

    2. I know this isn’t really about #1, but I had to say that lol So, there is a such thing as cultural appropriation, which it sounds like the artist is being accused of. With this specific issue, I defer to the culture that’s being appropriated. If they’re cool, then I’m cool. Otherwise, it’s not for me to say or really care about.

    3. I don’t think we should be able to blindly oust someone out of anger/disagreement. It’s kind of like being a so-called “Karen” online, which most people I know frown upon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t understand the boycotts. When my daughter told me I shouldn’t watch The Prom, I asked her if it was worth it to not watch a movie that had a good message about equality and equanimity because the actor was “too gay” and what does that even mean anyway. I think anything can be considered cultural appropriation, and I agree, unless it really offends someone’s sensibilities, we should let it slide. The whole karen thing. While I get that some people are really wrong and offensive and should be called on it….isn’t it just another way of shutting down the voices of women?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So…my daughter asked me not to watch some movie about dogs because she found out the dogs were being mistreated in order to create the movie. I never watched it. Anywho.

        The Karen thing…Karens are mostly called Karens when they call the police on people who are not committing crimes, like the bird-watching situation. So, I don’t think that’s shutting down anyone’s voice. I think that’s helping the community and also helping police actually fight real crimes, not ones made up in the mind. To circle it back to the telling on people on social media, I see it as the same. People shouldn’t be allowed to do that, unless someone really is inciting online riots or criminal activity of some sort.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The real Karen’s who call the police on people so obviously innocent should 100% be called out. But, I’ve seen people complaining about things and called Karen’s, like you’re in a store and customer service is being ridiculous , do we have the right to get mad and not be called a karen? Originally Karen was the women with the mushroom haircut that was known for complaining. I have a blog in the pipeline about this

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve met incredibly flamboyant gays (the stereotype) and others that blend into the straight society…Proving there isn’t truly a stereotype. Ugh that boils me about having problems with actors not acting. The person with the right chops should always get the part regardless of sexual orientation, nationality, handicap ect. I think instead of banning, more actors of all types should be cast…Meaning casting directors need to have a broader sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Completely agree. Anyone should be eligible for any role. If that makes casting too difficult, then you are stereotyping and you need to figure out a better way

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed reading your thought provoking post and questions. My daughter has strong opinions on what can or cannot be said, watched, read, done, etc. I struggle with how to respond. Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always ask my daughter to do her due diligence. Is what the herd saying true. Then I ask her is the punishment fits the crime. Like in the case of The Prom, I said it was an inclusive movie about alternative life styles. Was it worth banning when it dealt with issues we should be acknowledging. My message is mainly to verify facts and make sure it’s a cause worth fighting.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you. I’m having a hard time with this because my daughter tells me I don’t take her seriously or respect her opinion. That’s not true. But I do disagree with her opinions — a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Society will be so bland when we all have to do and say things the way some arbiter decides is right. Next they will want us to stay locked up in our homes with our mouths gagged. Oh, wait. That is already happening.😷😠

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, LA, I agree with you. Everyone should have a voice, and, factually, many populations in this country, don’t. There is a balance to strike here though between understanding and working to ameliorate social injustices at the macro level, and understanding and working to ameliorate them at the micro level. And, navigating the in between spaces. It is important to work together to create the change we wish to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sounds like censorship more than social justice to me. All artists borrow or appropriate and writers are no exception. Am I only allowed to write about straight white middle aged American women who have dogs and no religion? Married, but no children? How dull.

    When art is truly harmful to society in some way, then we can talk about it. This is mere tempest in teapot scale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. Everyone borrows from everyone because in reality, there are only so many stories to tell. How many times has Shakespeare been taken apart and respun? Are we spending too much time on things that don’t matter that much?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This trend to accuse and report then find someone guilty by accusation is disturbing. It erodes societal trust. People’s lives are being sacrificed so that someone can have their 5 minutes of fame.

    Like

  13. I think we should boycott boycotting. Seriously, where does it end? Will we get to the point of a black actor/actress not being “black enough” for a role? I’ve watched many programs with a openly, flamboyant gay actors. Is this okay? Or should there be different degrees of “gayness” depending on the part? Once we start down this path, the options and restrictions become endless. We are suppose to encourage one another to be open-minded and engage in dialogue….but I guess that only applies when we sign on to current group-think ideas. Motivation behind films, books, music should be the benchmark for how it’s judged by others. In an extreme case, this could be extended to academic settings and teachers would not be allowed to instruct on projects outside of their demographic. For example, could a white, Caucasian teacher lead a class art project involving Native Americans or would they need to bring in someone with that background to oversee the information? Could they teach a lesson on MLK or, because they weren’t black, they would not be able to do it effectively? If we allow this suppression, where does it end?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. OK, clearly there is something to this “generational divide” kind of thing. I think your daughter is maybe Gen Z while mine are millenials and I’m a Boomer. You’re probably something else that goes by another letter. I actually tried to set up a key or guide to all the “named” generations using just dates of birth to start with. I did this because I have found the dichotomies and differences that prompted this post to be fascinating.

    I am especially interested in how these differences may or may not impact our current (messed-up) political environment, not only in the US really, but generally worldwide.

    I have also found it interesting, in terms of the current US political environment, to consider the possibility that the even wider than usual range of opinions voiced by voters in many different places, faces and methods, may not be as effected by this variable as they are by others. On that basis, I’m hoping and trying to be hopeful that those who are in the middle of the spectrum (liberal/conservative or possibly progressive/regressive and maybe even socialist/capitalist) can agree amongst themselves to reach out to the folks at each opposing end to find out what is really bugging them, personally and every day where they live, and take that back as a means to starting to find a middle way.

    With respect to the particular subject you started on with this post, censorship, and especially re your friend who was blocked by FB, here’s what I’ve observed and my opinion based on those observations. Zuckerberg and Sandberg are trying to manipulate all of us, mainly for profit. I can’t help it, I just can’t identify with Sandberg and her “lean in” philosophy just based on what I know of it and her where she thinks every woman in the world is lucky enough to have as many choices as she had.

    Over and above FB, one could probably say something similar about the entrepreneurs who have pushed the bounds of capitalism in the name of free speech, all the while turning us into statistics and numbers to be exploited by businesses and other more nefarious entities, for their own gains. Now that some of this wild west of the internet has pushed some folks too far, they’re trying to self-police but I think it’s too late for that. I see this as another area in which “middle of the road” elected (or maybe appointed) leaders at the national level will have step in. The limits will also need to be negotiated, just like most rules, regulations and legislation.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hello LA. The pathos of your post resonates with me. It is most unfortunate so many in this politicly correct camp are “feeling their oats”, and making fast and dramatic strides towards totalitarianism…most don’t understand the consequences of their actions. Hang tough & don’t give up !

    Like

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