This is not one of the regular posts they put up here. This time it is I, Doctor Franklin, addressing you. If you know a bit about me, you know I began my career as a cultural observer, a fictional old busy-body woman, who dished out advice on just about everything to clueless, insecure letter writers via a column in some prerevolutionary newspaper. I was the first 'Dear Abby.' I popularized raccoon skin hats generations before Davey Crocket and in Paris, no less. Some know me as America's first, great, celebrity adulterer- theoretical scientist. Hey, curiosity... it's my 'thing.'
I joined clubs and associations all over Philadelphia. When I ran out of clubs, I started my own. I regularly attended and subscribed to Protestant and Jewish congregations. If the Catholics (of all types) and Muslims had organized churches and mosques back then, I'd have rubber necked the crowd and prayed there too. Was I a Mason?' Sure. So what? Who cares?
The thing is, I have studied and explored everything. And the truth is we ALL steal from everybody. Nobody's culture is sacrosanct. I've seen old white ladies eat dry Cheerios with chopsticks... Hey, 'sacrosanct'... isn't that a Latin word?
African food became American food. Indian food did too. You like succotash? Good. So did Pocahontas. ... Ancient, Celtic-Irish observances morphed into Halloween. The savory, deliciousness of Italian cuisine got Tarantella-ed into Chef Boyardee . <~~ Ever see an Italian name spelled like that? I didn't...And Jewish thought-belief-religious practice got 'knocked -off' (an old Jewish term) into pretty much every mode of Western Oriented Faith we have today. You might say we ALL follow various denominations of Judaism, even the Atheists. Ever hear Woody Allen? But, old biases die hard. It's 'not nice' to say that. Thus 'Abrahamic' was created. Thing is, them ain't Abrahamic stories in all them scriptures... Them's Jewish stories.... Oh, well. What are you gonna do?
Transplanted, West African - In North American culture is like that too. It's the music. It's the classic 'Southern' recipes. It's the speech patterns. (some linguists say Old Dixie's accents are just seventeenth and eighteenth century English overlaid with the cadences of Senegal and Cameroon and Old Mali). Keep diggin'. Yams grow in all the gardens.
And I haven't even begun to dish out all the Frenchie, Spanish, Creole jambalaya they got bubblin' up from New Orleans to San Francisco. Bet some American Indian grandmothers up in Alaska make a mean borscht too.
I think God wants it to be this way. Everything goes into the stew. But it's not all pureed down to a smooth consistency. We can still taste the chunks of meat and potatoes and spices..
So, the thing about cultural appropriation is this... When nobody wants what you got, that means business is bad.
And everybody likes a little business.
Regular readers know I am one of the night-folk now. I am one of the vampires. Hey, don't hate. Investigate.
Your obedient servant -
Doctor Benjamin Franklin
<more next time>
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please comment, especially with tonight's topic and Amy and Goldie and Wanda (in alphabetical order) and all. thank you.