Im­i­ta­tion is the sin­cer­est flat­tery

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.