Does Iron Fist have any chance...

Joined: May 2006
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Clarence Boddicker
Janson JinnistanThere's a difference between "cultural appropriation" and cultural exchange or participation. ?This is why I'm also a little tired of hearing the term. ?I think I saw recently where a model got in trouble for doing a shoot in a geisha setting or something. ?That's not appropriation, but cultural appreciation. ?It would only be appropriating the culture if it was attempting to claim ownership over that culture. ?Someone engaging in Asian martial arts is only appropriating that culture if they try to act as if they have some special or original claim to those arts, like if the West began giving new English names to those various disciplines.

In music, appropriation occurs when people refuse to acknowledge the original contributions of the source, like rock fans refusing to acknowledge the blues, or punk fans refusing to acknowledge ska, or as we see sometimes these days where white hip-hop fans deny the specific culture that produced it.

A lot of people don't seem to realize that Tom Cruise wasn't actually The Last Samurai, but Ken Watanabe. ?I mean, I sympathize with those who didn't want to bother watching the film, but people should know what they're talking about.

Indignation is the hottest drug on the market.


I think what social justice types are worried about when they talk about cultural appropriation (CA) it comes to the bolded sentence is 'tokenizing'. The same is true for complaints about Miley twerking or about the wearing of First Nations headdresses at music festivals or earthy types blindly taking on eastern religion as a fad, etc. It's a valid concern. It's a lot less likely that mainstream society will care about the concerns of minority groups if they are seen as little more than mascots or caricatures of their more interesting cultural practices.

Though, there is always a problem with how concepts are defined. How you define CA seems pretty close to a dictionary definition but those are not always working definitions. As such, these concepts can be ill defined or have multiple definitions that are in use at once (the difference between the dictionary definition of 'racism' and how it is defined by large swaths of the left). I'd say the definition you use of CA does not match the definition being used by the social justice types even after we 'control for' those worried about tokenizing. I'd say a large portion of these individuals would strongly disagree with how you are defining the term, and that matters because they are the ones who are setting the working definition of the concept in the popular zeitgeist. Their definition seems to be somewhere in the realm of 'taking the cultural practices of minority groups without permission' which covers more than taking and claiming ownership over culture. This definition is so loose that it is up for wild interpretations and can be applied to almost anything, which in an of itself makes the term fundamentally useless as anything other than as a weapon to wield at those who left ideologues and their acolytes disagree with. I'd prefer your choice of definition, because people doing that is a problem, but the cogency of your definition is clouded by how CA is defined at large. This is a problem with how these cultural concepts are defined, my avatar perfectly describes how I feel when I hear how people have redefined the concept of 'white privilege' (which is/was an extremely useful concept/theory at its inception).


What say you?

Very insightful post.
I just for the life of me cannot understand how anyone would think Iron Fist was appropriating anything if they had actually read the comics and seen who Danny Rand was and how he became the Iron Fist. I guarantee you most of the people who are screaming "cultural appropriation" are those white liberal types (don't want to say SJWs because that's becoming an annoying term) who want to prove they are 'woke.' (Another term I hate using) I actually read an article by this moronic chick who had no idea who Iron Fist was because she hadn't done any type of research but was so quick to give her opinion about why the show was so offensive to Asian people. Reminds me of this guy I know who was online talking about how much this artists' new album sucked. When I asked him what he particularly did not like about the album he said he hadn't even listened to it, he just knew it was terrible. If you are going to act like a damn social critic, then it is probably best to do your research before making asinine statements.
Now, back to Iron Fist. I am about 8 episodes in so far (Episode 6 has been my favorite) and I can see where a lot of the criticism is coming from but the show is not as bad as the reviews say. Perhaps Loras Tyrell was not the best choice for Danny Rand but he isn't terrible and his American accent isn't half bad. I like the chick who plays Colleen Wing (totally forgot she's a Game of Thrones alumni as well). Show isn't as good as Daredevil or Luke Cage but there is definitely room for improvement.
Mar 20, 2017 4:11 PM
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Clarence BoddickerI think what social justice types are worried about when they talk about cultural appropriation (CA) it comes to the bolded sentence is 'tokenizing'. The same is true for complaints about Miley twerking or about the wearing of First Nations headdresses at music festivals or earthy types blindly taking on eastern religion as a fad, etc. It's a valid concern. It's a lot less likely that mainstream society will care about the concerns of minority groups if they are seen as little more than mascots or caricatures of their more interesting cultural practices.

I saw the fashion spread in question, with the geisha, and although I wasn't aesthetically impressed with the pictures (a little garish), I didn't find it tokenizing. But let's say a Japanese model had done the shoot (and thankfully there's an increasing number of Asian models, even if not "mainstream" enough for, say, Victoria's Secret), then I can imagine many of the same voices would be protesting "keeping her in her place" and reinforcing the stereotype, etc. You can't really win in a lot of these situations.

A lot of the examples that you mention are by-products of people being superficial, and 'cred' is a selfish form of appropriation, no doubt. But I don't see it as necessarily hateful or demeaning in itself, and I think that's a distinction worth making. But it would seem silly (because it is) to criticize a Japanese person for "appropriating" blue jeans and Coca-Cola, jazz and baseball, or any other classic Americana symbols. Should we start questioning their sincerity too? I wouldn't.

Clarence Boddicker(the difference between the dictionary definition of 'racism' and how it is defined by large swaths of the left)

I know that there's been the recent attempt to conflate the definition of racism with institutional racism, and claims, for example, that black people cannot be racist because they lack the political power of the current racial hegemony. I think that this is foolish, and even conforms to the latent racism among white people where they only define racism as actions rather than mentality. "I'm not a racist - I've never even said the 'n' word!" Doesn't it matter more whether you thought the 'n' word? Or more specifically have a mindset composed of a pattern of hostile reactions to black people, whether you express these feelings or not? Likewise, black people are also susceptible to racist thoughts about white people and other minorities, regardless of their ability to act out these feelings. Everyone is susceptible, which is why I think that it is very important to see racism as a problem that no one is inherently immune to, and it's insidious to see such rationalizations being used on the left.

Clarence BoddickerI'd say the definition you use of CA does not match the definition being used by the social justice types even after we 'control for' those worried about tokenizing. I'd say a large portion of these individuals would strongly disagree with how you are defining the term, and that matters because they are the ones who are setting the working definition of the concept in the popular zeitgeist. Their definition seems to be somewhere in the realm of 'taking the cultural practices of minority groups without permission' which covers more than taking and claiming ownership over culture. This definition is so loose that it is up for wild interpretations and can be applied to almost anything, which in an of itself makes the term fundamentally useless as anything other than as a weapon to wield at those who left ideologues and their acolytes disagree with. I'd prefer your choice of definition, because people doing that is a problem, but the cogency of your definition is clouded by how CA is defined at large. This is a problem with how these cultural concepts are defined, my avatar perfectly describes how I feel when I hear how people have redefined the concept of 'white privilege' (which is/was an extremely useful concept/theory at its inception).

I actually don't have a problem with the dictionary definition of the term "appropriation", because it's a perfectly reasonable word to describe the process of cultural interaction. People appropriate from what they're exposed to, and this is how culture works and breeds. But appropriation should be mutual, respectful, inspirational. The problem is that "America" (or the West) has such a strong grip on global media that "we" act as a kind of gatekeeper for cultural exchange, and if anyone wants to critique that, I suppose it's open to debate. As long as these minority groups receive credit and respect for their cultural contributions (and profits, as opposed to enriching these gatekeepers), then I think that many minority communities would be proud to have this broader cultural impact.

Whose permission are we asking exactly? Will one person suffice? Is there a committee? Like I mentioned, there will be superficial people trying to be cool, but there will also be those who are truly dedicated to a minority culture, and who finds in it something vital that speaks to them as a person. How do we validate which one is appropriation and which is inspiration? I honestly don't think that this is an area where politics has any play. You can mock the pseudo-enlightened douche-dude who mispronounces his Vedic deities, but does there need to be a law?

Ironically, this attitude is only going to alienate and discourage the truly interested people from exploring and participating in these cultures, effectively quarantining these cultures and giving "the mainstream" more of an excuse to ignore and marginalize them. It's just really silly.
Mar 20, 2017 8:52 PM
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I saw an interesting example of true cultural appropriation this morning, and one that most people would likely overlook. It was a Chuck Berry obituary, and it mentioned his guitar style and songwriting, and then it said that "more importantly" how he had inspired the British groups like the Rolling Stones. In fact, the article ended up saying more about the Stones than Berry. That's a subtle (not really so subtle) assertion of cultural dominance right there.

It would be as if Akira Kurosawa's obituary had started with a passing mention of his several great films, but "more importantly" he influenced all of those really great Coppola, Spielberg and Lucas films. I'm sure, looking back, that many of his obits couldn't wait to mention Lucas, but I don't remember any that used Kurosawa as a necessary footstool to the films that we're to assume really matter more than his own.
Mar 20, 2017 9:11 PM
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Johnny WishboneNow, back to Iron Fist. I am about 8 episodes in so far (Episode 6 has been my favorite) and I can see where a lot of the criticism is coming from but the show is not as bad as the reviews say. Perhaps Loras Tyrell was not the best choice for Danny Rand but he isn't terrible and his American accent isn't half bad. I like the chick who plays Colleen Wing (totally forgot she's a Game of Thrones alumni as well). Show isn't as good as Daredevil or Luke Cage but there is definitely room for improvement.

If anything, his American accent is probably too good. He's a boy who got taken in by a foreign country and then lived there for 60% of his life. He really ought to be talking with a bit of K'un-Lun accent (whatever that might be), and even if he got to practice English there, it would most likely be with a British, not American accent. Also, I wouldn't say it is worse than Cage. That's one plenty of people took a little break from watching it a few episodes in before returning to the show a bit later, and I haven't found anyone that cares for Cottonmouth. And that's only some of the issues with that series.
Mar 20, 2017 9:16 PM
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I binged the whole thing over the weekend. It was entertaining enough to keep my interest, despite the inordinately slow-moving first handful of episodes, but it's certainly a step down from Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Daredevil (yes, even S2). The biggest problems were the terribly bland lead (Finn had no charisma), the rather bloated episodes (most ran almost an hour), the lack of a solid antagonist & the pretty dull fight scenes. On the other hand, the character development was good and the other actors played their characters quite well. Ultimately, I'm torn on how I'd rate it, but I certainly feel it's better than the super-low RT critic rating would have us believe.
Mar 20, 2017 9:36 PM
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MKS
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I'm sort of baffled by the moderate praise the show is getting on here. I'm five episodes in and struggling to continue. I think it's far and away Marvel's worst show. Even worse than Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter.

The acting is terrible, it's stylistically boring (so many sitting shot/reverse shot conversations), the dialogue is trite and repetitive and the characters are thinly drawn clich?s. This could be forgiven if the action was solid but compared to Agents this is bad. Compared to Daredevil, this is embarrassing.
Mar 20, 2017 10:33 PM
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MKS
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Double
Mar 20, 2017 10:38 PM
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I generally don't care for these Marvel/DC shows that have become all the rage in the last few years, but I really enjoyed the first episode of Iron Fist which I watched last night. I loved it, in fact. Time will tell if it can maintain my interest though, I've been charmed by many a pilot only to lose interest 6-7 episode in
Mar 21, 2017 12:09 AM
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MKSI'm sort of baffled by the moderate praise the show is getting on here. I'm five episodes in and struggling to continue. I think it's far and away Marvel's worst show. Even worse than Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter.

The acting is terrible, it's stylistically boring (so many sitting shot/reverse shot conversations), the dialogue is trite and repetitive and the characters are thinly drawn clich?s. This could be forgiven if the action was solid but compared to Agents this is bad. Compared to Daredevil, this is embarrassing.

Well, the second half of Luke Cage was so bad, that I think this show actually just seems like a relief to me that things didn't get any worse... in my opinion.
I don't think the show is bad, although the lead is miscast. And so far none of it is worse than the entire Diamondback storyline of LC.
Mar 21, 2017 2:24 AM
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MKS
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Wooley
MKSI'm sort of baffled by the moderate praise the show is getting on here. I'm five episodes in and struggling to continue. I think it's far and away Marvel's worst show. Even worse than Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter.

The acting is terrible, it's stylistically boring (so many sitting shot/reverse shot conversations), the dialogue is trite and repetitive and the characters are thinly drawn clich?s. This could be forgiven if the action was solid but compared to Agents this is bad. Compared to Daredevil, this is embarrassing.

Well, the second half of Luke Cage was so bad, that I think this show actually just seems like a relief to me that things didn't get any worse... in my opinion.
I don't think the show is bad, although the lead is miscast. And so far none of it is worse than the entire Diamondback storyline of LC.

I think it's been consistently worse than the Diamondback storyline. Aside from him being a weak villain, he was a consistent villain that drove the plot and the show never became so stylistically and dramatically flaccid as this. The Adrian Younge score alone elevates it above the banality of IF for me.
I just don't see anything that's above middling with this show and there's so much lower than that.
Mar 21, 2017 2:34 AM
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Initially I was interested in the show because I liked the idea of a superhero trying to reclaim his identity, but this thing only gets worse as it goes on. It has a weaker second half than Cage, which I somewhat liked.

Jones acting is painful to sit through and the villains couldn't be anymore unremarkable, aside from the occasional Madame Gao. RZA' s episode works as a cool homage to game of death, but for the most part this thing is just going through the typical motions, and it doesn't excel at them in anyway.
Mar 21, 2017 7:47 AM
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Special Agent CooperI generally don't care for these Marvel/DC shows that have become all the rage in the last few years, but I really enjoyed the first episode of Iron Fist which I watched last night. I loved it, in fact. Time will tell if it can maintain my interest though, I've been charmed by many a pilot only to lose interest 6-7 episode in

I would consider this an apt description. Iron Fist is kinda like watching Arrow, but more violent.
Mar 21, 2017 7:49 AM
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MKS
Wooley
MKSI'm sort of baffled by the moderate praise the show is getting on here. I'm five episodes in and struggling to continue. I think it's far and away Marvel's worst show. Even worse than Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter.

The acting is terrible, it's stylistically boring (so many sitting shot/reverse shot conversations), the dialogue is trite and repetitive and the characters are thinly drawn clich?s. This could be forgiven if the action was solid but compared to Agents this is bad. Compared to Daredevil, this is embarrassing.

Well, the second half of Luke Cage was so bad, that I think this show actually just seems like a relief to me that things didn't get any worse... in my opinion.
I don't think the show is bad, although the lead is miscast. And so far none of it is worse than the entire Diamondback storyline of LC.

I think it's been consistently worse than the Diamondback storyline. Aside from him being a weak villain, he was a consistent villain that drove the plot and the show never became so stylistically and dramatically flaccid as this. The Adrian Younge score alone elevates it above the banality of IF for me.
I just don't see anything that's above middling with this show and there's so much lower than that.

I just thought he was ridiculous and terrible and dragged the entire Marvel Netflix universe down a notch. It turned into exactly the kind of silliness that Marvel has somehow sidestepped for years. Now, I don't watch any of the DC Network shows, but they all look kinda ridiculous to me, and that's how the second half of Luke Cage went. It seemed like everything people thought would be bad if comic-books ever came to the screen. Iron Fist hasn't done that to me yet, so I kinda put it as the weakest of the group that includes DD/DD2 and JJ, but still a league above LC.
Mar 21, 2017 11:04 AM
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Johnny WishbonePerhaps Finn Jones was not the best choice for Danny Rand


In the trailers, all I see is Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde.

Evan Solomon
There is a videogame out right now called Nioh that got intense critical praise and is selling really well. It's about a white man washing up in feudal Japan and becoming Hattori Hanzo's best friend and mastering all samurai techniques while killing off Japan's entire lexicon of folklore. Seriously, people cannot say enough good things about this game.

If you wrote that the way I read it, that does sound interesting. Whitewashing: Place Contrite Subtitle Here.
Mar 22, 2017 4:37 PM
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Rated NCC-1701
Johnny WishbonePerhaps Finn Jones was not the best choice for Danny Rand


In the trailers, all I see is Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde.


They should have cast him. Dude needs the work.
Mar 22, 2017 5:01 PM
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Gareth Evans should have been hired for show-runner. Another angle they could have gone with this is making it a lean, simple, overtly stylized homage to Shaw Brothers classics with lots of colors, classic sound effects, and simple yet effective storytelling. The sad thing is that I thought Luke Cage was setign this up, with its numerous references to old Kung-Fu films and its own embracing of blaxploitation films.
Mar 22, 2017 11:12 PM
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Evan SolomonGareth Evans should have been hired for show-runner.

He's working on a film titled Apostle at the moment. Probably wouldn't have been interested.
Mar 22, 2017 11:37 PM
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You know, I HATED the first episode.
It was dull, anti climatic, and featured a lead with low charisma.

However, 3 episodes ?in and I'm digging it.
Mar 23, 2017 2:52 AM
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It goes from slightly boring to slightly good to slightly bad to pretty bad, and I have a few episodes left. It's bad when the Meachum story is more interesting than the Iron Fist stuff.
Mar 23, 2017 5:23 AM
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MKSI'm sort of baffled by the moderate praise the show is getting on here. I'm five episodes in and struggling to continue. I think it's far and away Marvel's worst show. Even worse than Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter.

The acting is terrible, it's stylistically boring (so many sitting shot/reverse shot conversations), the dialogue is trite and repetitive and the characters are thinly drawn clich?s. This could be forgiven if the action was solid but compared to Agents this is bad. Compared to Daredevil, this is embarrassing.

Nothing is worse than Agents of SHIELD
Mar 23, 2017 2:34 PM
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