Much has been made about the developed world (otherwise known as the west) and its cultural appropriation of the developing world and other disenfranchised groups. But cultural appropriation swings both ways so I’d like to point out the cultural appropriation of the west.
Beijing, home to hard won smog, stole this symbol of manufacturing supremacy from the west. Beijing’s goal was the manufacturing centres of Britain that brought about the industrial revolution and also a shorter lifespan. Beijing might be able to hide the shorter lifespans due to respiratory illnesses by progressing in treating all other illnesses. I think it also wishes to steal the idea of class culture from Britain. Naturally those in power will be the new upper class.
Dubai and other Asian nations have begun usurping what once had been the pride of the west. From the time the Eiffel tower eclipsed the pyramids to a time only twenty years ago, the West had an unbroken string of the tallest buildings. But that is when the far east and then Dubai began making the tallest buildings. Finally western men no longer have the smallest junk and don’t have to over compensate.
And what small country has almost copied a decade of the west and thus has conservative westerners all in a tizzy? The island nation of Cuba has authentic 1950s cars, no shortages of doctors and an expertise in smoking. These are all things the west had in the fifties and the chance to visit that decade is top amongst conservative wishes. But Cuba has something that conservative westerners dislike. They are run by Cubans and thus have a differing cultural atmosphere.
So if the west cast Beyonce as an Indian and Rihanna as a princess of China, don’t cry cultural appropriation – it runs both…
Wait a second. Both those examples were Coldplay. Fine. Blame that British rock band. Carry on.