Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lionel Shriver Interviewed About The "Cultural Appropriation" Dust-Up

   The interviewer, Nate Hopper, kind of pisses me off in this. He seems like he's pushing a PC agenda rather than actually interviewing Shriver. I mean, it's good to encourage the interviewee to respond to tough objections, but here it seems like there's too much pushing of the contrived, semi-coherent PC arguments. Shriver's responses are pretty good, but if it were me, I'd have attacked the shitty arguments in the objections more directly. Also, Shriver falls into the PC-hurts-the-groups-it's-trying-to-help argument too readily for my taste. I mean, I think she's probably right, so this is more of a strategic rather than a tactical point...but one of the things I'm sickest of is the fact that PCs will only accept their own type of arguments--appeals to alleged harm to their preferred groups. People need to stop falling for this, even though it's an easier route to rhetorical victory. I'd have liked to see Shriver stand up and say something like:
You know, the reason this criticism is wrong is because there's no such thing as "cultural appropriation," and I have no obligation to kowtow to idiots who have fabricated a pretend sin. Could I think of some convoluted way in which the theory of cultural appropriation hurts people in the third world? Probably. But I'm not going to do that. It's a confused concept, a false theory, and it's doing harm to me, a successful white American. Those things matter. Not every criticism has to be cashed out in terms of harm to the groups beloved of the PCs. There are other things that matter, too.


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