I mean, yeah, that Avril Lavigne video* is pretty dumb, but this Ann Althouse commenter here has the right of it:
If examined closely Japanese popular culture would explode the brain of the average political correctness warrior in the USA.
Here is a not entirely atypical example, chosen partially because the artist (Kyary Pamyu Pamyu) is both popular and known for her adoption of Western styles and themes – but mostly because it is, by our standards, highly insane:
(WARNING! What is once seen, cannot be unseen!)
I look forward with some interest to see people on the Left start yelling about her. It would certainly fit in with their somewhat parochial world-view… or would, except that the people most exercised about cultural appropriation somehow manage to also take the curiously intellectually incoherent position that only the West is advanced enough to be held accountable for its actions. Don’t ask me: I’m not part of that particular Sphere of Epistemic Closure.
Seriously, I think that if Vox wants to criticize cultural appropriation than it should find writers who are a little less provincial and a little more experienced with the culture in question. I’m not asking that they find writers who know more than the cultural appropriator that they’re criticizing; doing that violates a rule of the Internet, apparently. And apparently reflexively honoring every bit of a subculture’s ruleset is the most important thing these days.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: It is the consensus opinion (no, not really) of my peers that, every so often, Jeff Bezos destroys about ten million dollars or so and sends the remains to Ezra Klein. Just so that Klein understands that it wasn’t about the money.
*Quick summary: Avril Lavigne** did a music video (yes, they still do those) where she went dubstepping*** around Tokyo with a bunch of blank-faced backup dancers while dressing oddly and singing a song whose refrain was Hello Kitty / You’re so pretty. And, oh, yes, there was a sped-up bit of her ordering sushi, then eating it all kawaii****. All of this apparently made Vox decide to start yelling for her to get off their lawn, because she’s a horrible cultural appropriator. …I don’t know if that even means anything in this particular context.
**She’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-her pop star.
***It’s sort of like techno, only in slow-motion.
****It’s sort of like being super-cute, only you’ve just snorted five lines of of Pixy Stix.