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Friday, November 03, 2017

Funky Tut

Well, this hits close to home:

At Reed College, a small liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, a 39-year-old Saturday Night Live skit recently caused an uproar over cultural appropriation. In the classic Steve Martin skit, he performs a goofy song, “King Tut,” meant to satirize a Tutankhamun exhibit touring the U.S. and to criticize the commercialization of Egyptian culture. You could say that his critique is weak; that his humor is lame; that his dance moves are unintentionally offensive or downright racist. All of that, and more, was debated in a humanities course at Reed.

But many students found the video so egregious that they opposed its very presence in class. “That’s like somebody … making a song just littered with the n-word everywhere,” a member of Reedies Against Racism (RAR) told the student newspaper when asked about Martin’s performance. She told me more: The Egyptian garb of the backup dancers and singers—many of whom are African American—“is racist as well. The gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface.”

Now I know how Gen Kelly feels...


November 3, 2017 | Permalink


I find their intolerance intolerable!

Posted by: Rmj | Nov 4, 2017 4:30:11 PM

And what's up with Beethoven's "Turkish March"?! Cultural appropriation!! And Turkish Delight!? Why, that's as bad as the "N-word!" Ban it from the stores and cookbooks!

Posted by: Rmj | Nov 4, 2017 4:33:36 PM

Turkish delight is authentic, though it's still deadly for a diabetic. Turkish cuisine is incredibly complicated, from what I can gather - always on the look out for new vegetarian recipes

And Steve Martin ain't no Beethoven.

Such nonsense does nothing to raise the status of the humanities. I'd ask why Steve Martin was being taught in any classroom. The pretense that popular crap had any intellectual status has gotten entirely out of hand. I'd go over the racism of The New Republic. This is a product of Hollywood driving our culture into the dump.

Posted by: Anthony McCarthy | Nov 5, 2017 5:38:51 AM

yeah, I wondered why Steve Martin was being taught in a humanities class.

Then again, when I was a mere graduate student and was teaching freshman english, I assigned a Woody Allen essay full of references to history. I thought it was hilarious, but none of my young charges had heard of the Russian Revolution or the French Revolution, or had any clue about history at all. They hated me for assigning it the ways pigs would hate you for feeding them pearls instead of swill.

That was nearly 40 years ago, and I can't see any real improvement since then.

Posted by: Rmj | Nov 5, 2017 7:31:18 AM

Maybe it should be called the Dimformation Age. Though I'm still holding out for Unlightenment.

Posted by: Anthony McCarthy | Nov 6, 2017 4:55:52 AM

Maybe it should be called the Dimformation Age. Though I'm still holding out for Unlightenment.

Posted by: Anthony McCarthy | Nov 6, 2017 4:55:55 AM

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