Imitation is the sincerest flattery
RE: In defence of free artistic expression (May 18)
While I understand the need that many indigenous people may have to try to protect their cultural uniqueness, is it not sad that those same champions of their culture’s artistic expression and those who feel threatened by the prospect of cultural appropriation have forgotten the sage advice of Oscar Wilde, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”
Psychologists tell us that no one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Maybe it is time for indigenous people in Canada to begin just to celebrate who they are and forget about what the rest of Canadians think of them.
It was that same Oscar Wilde who quipped: “Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal freely.” There is an argument to be made that truly original people are very rare in this world. Most of what passes for art in any generation contains some element of creativity that is borrowed from the past. Why should indigenous people think that they are entitled to an exemption from this phenomenon? David McInnis, Hamilton