New York Times Declares Tiki Bars Racist Cultural Appropriation Then Struggles to Define Who Is Offended – By Brad Slager (Red State) / January 4 2021
Something this fun and enjoyable MUST be offensive. (Lack of outrage not a factor)
It was a lengthy example of hand-wringing that, thankfully, was largely overlooked during the holiday session. The New York Times issued a lengthy treatise of all that is wrong with tiki bars and the affiliated tiki culture. As one might guess, it has to do with the racial problematics and the assumed crime of cultural appropriation, but even as this is delivered in a somber tone of seriousness one thing is apparent; the pearl-clutching authors are rather oblivious to the details.
Pour yourself a stiff multi-rum drink – this is a migraine-inducing farce.
The subheadline delivers the tone: Tiki bars are a beverage industry mainstay with a painful and under-examined past. Can the format be repaired? This is the tone of those who have recently discovered something and have begun their own exploration into a nebulous culture. In truth tiki culture is hardly unexamined – it is very definable and rather well known.
While invoking imagery from far away lands, what we regard as tiki culture in this country is a distinctly American enterprise. It began well before the article’s claims. Things first emerged in the 1800s, and decades later bloomed with American servicemen staged in the Pacific becoming enamored with the vistas and people they encountered. The early 1900s had numerous books published about the tropical Edens, including writings from Herman Melville. These tomes were so popular that when a satire edition was published mocking the movement, – The Cruise of the Kawa – it was accepted as a truthful account, and the author was invited to speak to the National Geographic Society.