in which His Majesty engages in a spot of cultural appropriation
Music departments across all universities have banned the reading of sheet music. This is to decolonise our syllabus and keep all our communities safe from cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is a non-crime race hate offence. It happens when people from non-Western cultures attempt to read sheet music, when it's not even their culture. In order to do apartheid 2.0 properly everyone needs to stay in their own cultural lane, cease dabbling in other people's cultures.
Moreover sheet music raises an important equal opportunities issue. If you can't read music by the time you arrive at university to study music, it's unlikely that you will ever catch up with your classmates who've been reading music since before they were born. Maybe their mothers played Mozart to them in utero, which is not fair on others. So it's best if sheet music is banned. That way it's fair for everyone who needs to be given an equal opportunity to acquire a music degree even though they have no formal musical training.
Those poor, poor students of different colours, weeping buckets of tears, distressed by all the hegemonic musical notation from the colonial era! Bach, Mozart, and God knows who else! And now a vast bulk of white men descending upon our children and teaching them... techniques! Everyone knows that when you supply equal opportunities music you should not include notation or techniques because that's not fair on others.
It just shows the spread of cultural appropriation which is harming all our communities. You hear it going on all around you every day, people talking carelessly and dropping words without regard to the cultural origins of their speech. Examples of this phenomenon abound:
Cultural appropriation is particularly harmful in the context of music because it's hard to learn classical music by crash course, or to pretend that you can play the piano when in fact you can't. When opportunities for race-faking it are limited, cultural appropriation becomes more unacceptable.
By contrast, it's easy to race-fake modern languages. You can easily go up to university to study modern languages without the ability to read any modern language. It's easy to get caught up with a crash course in Spanish or French or even German. Vikram Seth recounts in Two Lives (great book, google it) discovering, to his horror, that his admission to Oxford University required a modern language and he had none. As fate would have it his uncle had married a German woman who could help him with his grammar, so German it had to be. This was before the invention of equal opportunities, so failing to satisfy his admission conditions was out of the question. Nor, since he voluntarily sailed from India to study in the UK, could he present Hindi as his modern language. He was forced to do cultural appropriation and study German to get in to Oxford. Yes, shocking. All that hard work, toiling away at German verbs through a long hot summer when other young men his age were out partying. Someone needs to pay him some reparations for that.
Seth's uncle Shanti had form for doing cultural appropriation. Marrying a German woman was bad enough, but even worse he had the temerity to study in Germany when it was overrun by Nazis. There he was, shamelessly studying dentistry when many of his professors were Nazi officials, chatting with his Nazi classmates and going to their houses for lovely dinners cooked by their Nazi mothers, contributing some of his hard-earned Indian pennies to charities run by Nazi students, going on school trips to visit Nazi plants to learn some science, just shocking really. Consorting with Nazis wasn't even his worst cultural crime, because he also made friends with Americans, of all things, joined the British army, and fought in WW2. Reckless - that's three or four nationalities he culturally appropriated. He clearly never met a cultural barrier he wasn't prepared to cross. He too is owed massive reparations for his cross-cultural experiences.
Reparations for Clarence Thomas too, all those years of Latin slog on the long hard road to Yale, when he was a descendant of West African slaves and not even an ancient Roman so why should he be forced to battle with all those wicked declensions. His Yale certificates, tainted by the scourge of affirmative action, now languish in his basement storage while his prize for winning his Latin spelling bee graces his Supreme Court office. Latin is like the piano - impossible to race-fake. Either you know your declensions or you don't. This makes mastery of Latin probably one of the worst forms of cultural appropriation.
The main problem with cultural appropriation is that it gives some people an unfair advantage over others. As luck-egalitarians have shown, to do equal opportunities properly all unfair advantages must be abolished. Reading, writing, mathematics, science, grammar, spelling, looking in dictionaries to discover what words mean instead of just making up preferred meanings, thinking logically - all these things confer unfair advantages over those who can't do them for no fault of their own. It privileges those whose cultures value education and learning.
Classical music presents many challenges for equal opportunities. It requires application and study, and this is not fair to those coming from cultures that prefer indulging in pastimes that require no effort. Nobody chooses their culture. How is it fair if some people exit their own cultural lane and start overtaking others? It might be best if nobody is allowed to study the piano or any complex instruments - that way nobody will feel disadvantaged by the ability of others to master such things. Abolishing sheet music is just the start. Much more could be done to equalise all the musical opportunities! Watch this space, as soon our decolonising friends will treat us to the awesome spectacle of many other musical inventions being abolished.
We won't have long to wait for our spectacle! Some plush and delicious news just in:
[PS: I read law at the University of Hull in a time when correct spelling was definitely required - I think I might have earned myself some reparations, being forced to spell correctly when it's not even my culture and I am not even male.]
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