50 Shades of Graham: The culturally illiterate cultural wars

Graham Spence

THE phrase ‘Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad’ is fast becoming a slogan for our times.

At the moment we are still in the half-crazed stage, not terminally insane. But the condition is fast becoming critical.

And the halfwits at the forefront of this lunacy are groups of mainly white people who somewhat quaintly call themselves Social Justice Warriors, or SJWs.

Any similarity between SJWs and real warriors is non-existent. Real warriors are people who have protected their communities from marauding enemies since the dawn of humankind. At first they were villagers and farmers fighting for their families, then knights or samurais or impis or commandos – they come in many forms – to the combat soldiers of today.

The evolution of SJWs is somewhat different. From juvenile student politicians to street protesters to G20 rioters to perpetually outraged backbenchers demanding we commit economic suicide, they are no more warriors than I am a rocket scientist.

Their latest crusade is against ‘cultural appropriation’. While the term was initially coined to describe the disrespectful usage of cultural items, it has now been ‘appropriated’ by SJWs to mean anything a Westerner might enjoy that didn’t come from Europe.

Normally I would roll my eyes at such crud. But to my astonishment, this has actually got traction and gone right up to the United Nations.

They even have a U.N committee called the ‘World Intellectual Property Organisation’ with Indigenous Advocates from 189 countries investigating ‘cultural crimes’.

If they have their way, only indigenous people will be allowed to wear, eat, or use indigenous stuff. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but taken to its logical conclusion, it seems that whites will be banned from platting their hair in dreadlocks, while only Polynesians can wear gaudy Hawaiian shirts or surf baggies.

To put this in an African context, expect a bunch of SJWs with enough wire body-piercings to electrify a village arriving in Zululand to inform the good women doing beautiful craft there that no non-Zulu should be allowed to buy their beads or woven baskets.

Or a wood carver selling rhino sculptures at a roadside stall being hectored by bang-on blokes from Europe telling him tourists are ‘stealing his culture’.

However, as with all SJW campaigns, the genuine victims are the least of their concerns. It’s all about feeling good about themselves, and boy — have they cornered that market.

But let’s for the sake of argument take this further.

Baseball caps, so beloved by the Bloods and Cripps gangs of Los Angeles, will be limited to honkies only. Except, I won’t be the one delivering that news to them. Life is short enough as it is.

On the plus side, they can still wear sagging jeans, as that fashion statement evolved in California.

Generally, the Americans will do okay in this cultural appropriation gig. They will still have electricity, thanks to Benjamin Franklin, but it will be a blackout for everyone else who won’t be allowed to appropriate voltage. They will also be able to fly, as airplanes were invented by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to take trains. Oops, amend that.

Trains can only be used in England as the locomotive was designed by George Stephenson.

Sadly, if you like Country music or Rhythm ’n Blues, you will be out of luck. Willie Nelson, George Benson and other amazing axmen will no longer be able play guitars or harmonicas, as those instruments were invented in Spain and Germany respectively.

Health wise, diabetes sufferers will have to bite the bullet, unless they are Canadian. Insulin was invented in that country. Also, brace yourself for another smallpox epidemic, unless you are British. The vaccine that eradicated the killer virus was manufactured by Englishman Dr. Edward Jenner.

For foodies, there will be riots in the streets of Italy, as pasta was invented in China. But said Italians may be prevented from expressing public dissatisfaction as democracy is an Ancient Greek concept.

Okay, I’m laboring the point. Especially as pedants will note that I am culturally appropriating the word ‘appropriate’.

It comes from Latin, you see. So only the Romans can use it.


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Graham Spence

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