Through internet videos, tracing the African roots of twerk

Well that settles it, I’m chucking all my Jelly Roll Morton discs…


OW! My achy-breaky sacroiliac!

Considering that Jelly Roll Morton got his start in the brothels of Storyville, and his nickname was a reference to genitalia, I think it might not be hard to imagine that it was exactly what he was thinking.


or yoga. namaste. case in point:


I LOL’ed. My mom is an evil co-opting yoga practicing white woman!

That looks weirdly spooky. Who knew commas could do that?

Its almost too obvious to mention, but how do you feel when someone uses “they” to refer to a tendency among all black people? Or even some black people?

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying its the end of the world to offend white people, but if we as a culture are going to frown on racial stereotypes we kind of have to frown on all racial stereotypes, not just the ones that don’t apply to white people.

Well, which stereotypes are uttered in implicit reference to all white people? My own answer (YMMV): very few.

Among those that do seem to apply to all white people (can’t jump, lack rhythm, etc.), how injurious are they, really? That is, how much of a history, and an ongoing reality, of racial oppression against white people accompanies them, and gets reinforced by them? My own answer: Very, very little. In fact, in the U.S., none.

So I don’t really care much about the supposed scourge of stereotypes about white people. Given the fact that the U.S. remains a de facto white supremacist culture and society, and that many (most?) people of color still suffer greatly as a result, I think any butthurt attention paid by whites to stereotypes about whites is a waste of breath and energy (which is not to say I think you’re acting all butthurt). Not to mention how naive and silly it makes white people look when they moan and groan about “reverse racism” and so on.


Heh. And here I was just going to comment about all the flabby-asses due to the connective tissues in the glutes being torn or stretched from excessive performance of this dance move.

The image in my head of someone managing to break their pelvis free from their spinal column is both disturbing and hilarious…

Did Elvis steal from black culture? Sure he did, that’s the way it works. Artists beg , borrow and steal. Miley’s artistic cred is an open question.


Hey! Not ALL white people do that ya know!

It’s recursive!


Oho. You should hop in to another thread on this subject for today, wherein we learn that Hallie Berry, Beyonce, etc. are famous because they’re white enough to be accepted (because, c’mon, Beyonce dyed her hair blonde, it ain’t black and kinky!) and that Obama is president and Jesse Jackson isn’t, because Obama isn’t culturally black. And it’s comments from the usual BB cabal. And it’s okay to talk about, because we’re talking about their partial whiteness.

Even as a white dude, I found both of those things fairly eyebrow-raising. Obama isn’t culturally black? I have to admit that when people declared him the first African-American President, I shrugged it off, even thought it was a little odd. Now I wonder why I think it’s odd. What does it mean to be culturally black, anyway? To be culturally black, does he have to have the speaking cadence of a drawling southern Baptist preacher? Is there any way I can go further on this without digging a hole for myself? No, and I especially won’t do it on the 50th anniversary of MLK’s most famous speech.

Reading Boing Boing today, I can tell we have a long way to go before we hit MLK’s egalitarian goal.


That lady in the striped swimsuit- it looks like one of those collision-detection glitches you see in games sometimes.
Her butt is glitching out, man.

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I love the confidence with which you think you know that. If you really think it was “invented” by the sex industry then you’re pretty much ignoring the almost identical moves that have been part of South American and Middle-Eastern dance for centuries.

Nothing is invented.


We just think the inclusion of the word is unusual. Jay-Z raps it (even specifically about Miley Cyrus twerking!!!), Asian\Italian radio presenter on Aus radio Linda Mariano says it.

How about we flip it? roots of the substance black folk now call “food.”

Just as true and equally as unusual-sounding.


The white privilege is not that people are talking about twerking because a white girl did it on the VMAs, the white privilege is her being featured on the VMAs doing it in the first place instead of any of thousands of aspiring black performers who sing better, dance better, and have been doing it longer. Does anybody seriously think that the daughter of a multiplatinum country-crossover musician is getting all this attention on her own merits?


How do we strike a balance between keeping cultures segregated on the one hand, obviously unacceptable, or sharing each other’s musical or dance culture and being accused of “appropriation”? What kind of preemptive community service penance does a white singer or dancer have to do before singing a cover version of a song written by a Black person, or in a Black style, or with dance moves derived from non-white cultures? Maybe Miley could narrate a documentary about the evolution of dance? Or just a disclaimer playing throughout every music video or live performance that clearly states she’s not claiming that dance move as original or part of white culture?

There’s still the problem that white artists might get a bigger audience than Black artists for songs created by or in the style of Black artists. But it’s some kind of chicken-&-egg or cart-before-the-horse problem. How do you blame Pat Boone for singing a whitebread version of Tutti Frutti when there’s a segment of audience that won’t buy Little Richard’s version, or prefer Boone’s style? (I don’t know if Boone ever paid the proper royalties for his cover. I know there were a lot of Black songwriters getting absolutely ripped off in past decades, hopefully that’s passed.) If we can get past the int.prop and assume songwriters are getting paid appropriately, how can we blame Eminem for part of the mainstream audience of America that’s always going to be racist and avoid Black performers or Black culture? If you wanted to avoid catering to the potentially racist tastes of your audience, you’d have to stop performing for Americans because it’s going to be there any which way.


Buddy, you’re crawfishing big time. Just take the fair criticism and move on.

BTW I “co-opted” the term crawfishing from my cajun friends…

Yes, she is white.

On the side I can see.


The point I was trying to make isn’t that stereotyping white people is harmful to white people, but that stereotyping any race is a slippery slope. Its not a huge jump from making fun of white people dancing badly to black people eating watermelon or whatever offensive stereotype you want to trot out.

If we’re going to be against racial stereotyping and generalizations, we kind of have to be against all racial stereotyping, not just the ones that hit close to home, no?

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