Thursday, May 3, 2018

Jeremy Lam (?) Is Upset Over "Cultural Appropriation" by Keziah Daum in a Qipao Prom Dress

18 year old Keziah Daum was looking for a prom dress in Utah. She found a beautiful Chinese red qipao dress. A beautiful young woman in a beautiful dress does what today’s younger generation does. She posted pictures on social media. Kudos, praise and “likes.” Then came a tweet from someone named “Jeremy Lam” accusing her of cultural appropriation He tweeted “My culture is NOT your Goddamn prom dress.” He later posted “I’m proud of my culture. For it to simply be subject to American consumerism and cater to a white audience, is parallel to colonial ideology.” Welcome to America Jeremy! We are a capitalistic, commercial country, often with goods produced in China. Jeremy is another example of the academic Neanderthals, snowflakes sprouting up around America. America’s greatness is based upon welcoming the peoples from all countries and incorporating their cultures into the ever expanding American culture. We do it in attire, vocabulary, and foods. We name foods for their place of origin, or as tribute to foreign locales Beef Wellington Belgium Waffles Canadian Bacon Chicken Kiev Chili Chinese Dumplings A Danish English Tea French Bread French Fries French Onion Soup French Toast Greek Salad Greek Yogurt Hungarian Goulash Irish Coffee (From San Francisco’s BVC) Italian Ice Kobe Beef Lima Beans Mandarin Oranges Mongolian Beef Peking Duck Polish Kielbasa Sardines Sriracha Sauce Spanish Omelet Swedish Meatballs Swiss Cheese Swiss Chocolate Swiss Steak Thai Stick Turkish Delights Vienna Fingers Yorkshire Pudding Not to mention Cuban Cigars Should we be confined to knives and forks and forego chop sticks? Some of the foods we have adopted include Burritos, Enchiladas, Frijoles, and Quesadillas from Mexico, Pizza and Pasta from Italy, Sushi from Japan, Gelato from Italy, Po Boys, kielbasa and Pierogis from Poland. Baklava from Greece. Cheese from everywhere. We patronize Jewish Delis, Greek and Italian Pizzerias, Cantonese, Szechuan, and Mandarin Chinese restaurants. Hold the MSG. Don’t forget the Ramen, a staple of college student food. We can eat at a French Bistro and drink Scotch at an Irish bar. And then seek wisdom and luck from a Chinese Fortune Cookie. I admit chop suey (also from San Francisco) does a great disservice to Chinese Cuisine. Let me ask if Panda Express is an act of cultural appropriation? P.F. Chang’s? Pei Wei? Dim Sum? Too bad you never got to enjoy the epicurean delights of Chun King. Should we avoid Chinatown? All of them? Any restaurant named Golden Triangle? What about Peking Opera? What about acupuncture? What about herbal medicine? The United States will be happy to send the Tongs back to China. Contrary to Jeremy Lam, Ms. Daum received raving reviews from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Her qipao was viewed as a tribute and honor to Chinese culture. One commentator wrote “Culture has no boundaries …. Chinese cultural treasures are worth spreading all over the world.” Jeremy, I’ve been to Beijing. I’ve seen the Chinese commercialization of American culture: KFC, Starbucks, Subway, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Buicks. And Hollywood movies. One of the pernicious arguments for discriminating against Asian American applicants to college, as was said about Jewish students decades ago, is that they will add little to the greater university experience because of their narrow focus on studying. Jeremy's ignorance and cultural arrogance will help fuel this discrimination by some bigots. I think Jeremy Lam's tweet lack feng shui. I see Chinese wearing western business suits. Let me see if I can find that old Nehru jacket?

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