if being wrong’s a crime, i’m serving forever / if being strong’s your kind, then i need help here with this feather / if being afraid is a crime, we hang side by side / at the swinging party down the line
"I guess we’re stuck together… Partners.”
Not to take my newfound tolerance of Taylor Swift immediately to the next level, but I think this is an important learning moment for Tumblr:
I’ve been seeing a lot of messages going around about the “cultural appropriation” of using twerkers in the Shake It Off video. It’s not. Let me delineate the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural representation.
It’s pretty clear in the Shake It Off video that Taylor is not good at any of these dances. Not twerking, not ballet, not interpretive. She is clearly set apart from all of these dance forms and the cultures they may or may not be a part of. The plot of the video is that she tries to fit in in all these places, but in the end she just needs to shake her white booty in some Keds. She is not taking on the twerking culture as her own. She is not claiming she has an authentic role in it. She is allowing the people who ARE authentically a part of it to demonstrate it and keeping herself separate from it. This is cultural representation and it’s harmless.
Cultural appropriation is when Miley Cyrus claims she - as a rich and famous white girl - has any authentic ownership over twerking or its related culture. It’s when she puts herself as the central focal point of said culture in her video and implies that she is a representative of it, like it’s all about “her and her girls.”
I don’t make this distinction because I think it’s important that Taylor get away with shit and Miley does not. I make it because I’m concerned “cultural appropriation” is becoming a Tumblr buzzword that’s used as an excuse to write an enraged anonymous message about a pop star you don’t like instead of an actual social and pop cultural issue. I’m concerned you’re throwing it out there to get notes.
I’m concerned you keep using that word. But I do not think it means what you think it means.
I really hate being an introvert because I sometimes think “oh hey, I can totally hang out with a bunch of people right now! I can handle it! I hate being alone!!” and then three hours into hanging out I realize how draining of energy it is for me to be around other people and I just want to curl up into a ball and isolate myself for the rest of my life.
Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.
Are you, Are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree
After ten minutes alone in the dark street, a new emotion overtook him: panic. Whichever way he looked at it, he had never been in a worse fix. He was stranded, quite alone, in the dark Muggle world, with absolutely nowhere to go. - J.K. Rowling