Thursday, June 29, 2017

Youth is Wasted on Humorless, Plodding, Limited Scolds

Not content with getting Native American head-dress banned at music festivals, stopping students from wearing sombreros, and telling off BeyoncĂ© for writhing about in a sari, warriors against cultural appropriation have trained their demented gaze on food.  In February, Pembroke College, Cambridge, came under fire for serving ‘culturally insensitive’ food, including a mango and beef jerky dish that was called ‘Jamaican stew’ and a Tunisian rice dish that wasn’t properly Tunisian. Imagine going out for a meal with these moaners. You’d top yourself before the night was out.

The hipster fad for barbecue food is getting it in its fat neck, too. You think tucking into a stack of sticky baby ribs in places like the Blues Kitchen in Camden is a bit of fun? You’re wrong, as usual. ‘Barbecue is a form of cultural power’, says a writer for the Guardian (where else). It’s a tradition of ‘enslaved Africans’ and you insult those people when you peel the pork off a pig belly in some Hackney hangout. Eating, like everything else, is racism.  Even tea is under attack. It’s a ‘boring, beige relic of our colonial past’, says Joel Golby, a writer for Vice, the bible of Shoreditch bores. You can’t even have a cuppa without being induced to feel colonial guilt. Every sip should remind you of Amritsar. Mea cuppa...

...And that’s the point: cultural appropriation is a good thing. A brilliant thing. It’s the human thing.  The politically correct want to box us all off according to skin colour, gender identity, cultural heritage. But the deeper human instinct is to mix things up. Pop, art, literature and, strikingly, food are all the better when they borrow from other cultures; having nicked tricks and fused styles to create hybrid ideas and dishes we all gleefully tuck into.  Like that old bloke from my street, the guardians of racial correctness want us all to stay in our cultural lanes. ‘Can’t your mum make a roast?’ Ignore them. Break out. Eat what you like. Wear what you like. The idea that there is ‘white culture’ and ‘black culture’ is infinitely more offensive than beardy hipsters baking Cajun cornbread.
A large portion of what is post-Christian in our world is the desire to establish strong cultural barriers between people.  This is very similar to practices in 1st century Palestine, against which Christianity was a reaction.  A review of Simon Peter's revelation in Chapter 10 of the Acts of the Apostles would illuminate our theological foundation in this regard.