Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Entering a conversation

It's an ... I'm not entirely sure what the word is, comfortable maybe? A comfortable thing to be able to sit in a cafe and be okay with randomly jumping into a conversation between staff and another regular. In this morning's case it was a discussion which started, if I recall correctly, with a trivia question that was somehow related to the Simpsons. This took a minor tangent into the discussion around Hank Azaria, Apu and cultural appropriation. The barista on the side of we should all just ignore it, another patron in the thinking it was all a bit excessive but willing to concede the point that in the context of the industry as a whole, it's probably not an ideal situation. And myself and another staff member on the side of we don't get to decide if it's offensive and/or cultural appropriation or not, the people who's culture is being portrayed get to do that and we get to decide what our response is - i.e. do we take note of others offence and alter our behaviour or do we take note and do nothing.

It's reassuring that discussions like this are taking place in cafes and bars, even if, as I suspect, they're not happening anywhere enough.

For the record, the barista conceded some points but wasn't, I think, swayed to the point of giving Azaria any credit for his offer to stand down once he was made aware of the potential offence. It was also noted that the Simpsons is now in it's 29th season and that it should have ended approximately 15 seasons ago. 

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