Eliana

I just love the The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey - Closer cover. It really hits the spot. But then I also love the lead singer, his name is Kenton Chen. He has amazing vocal ability, especially with falsetto.

Falsetto is in mechanical sense, about contracting your vocal cords to make your voice much higher. When you try to do a Micky Mouse voice that is falsetto. If a singer is good enough at controlling their falsetto range it can sound very good.

But that takes a ton of practice.

Just as long as you aren't tone deaf.

Time deafness is a physical thing, similar to how colorblindness works, with a lack of certain sensors in their respective organs, if you're tone deaf, you can't learn how to hear tonality, but. That doesn't actually mean you can't sing. You'll just have to learn a different way to tell how on key you are etc.

Singing is 'just' muscle coordination, strength, breathing, memorisation and confidence! Also it helps if your skull is the right shape.

The truth is that while not everybody can be Beyoncé just like they can be an Olympic athlete. Most people can be trained to sing really well just like they can run long distances.

Eliana

There is so much great talent out there that it makes me happy to see people taking interest in it on a larger scale. One thing that I want to mention though is that people always forget about the band, sadly. That whole video was basically improv by the musicians.

Eliana

One of the main ideas is that it is difficult to actually appropriate culture, and is heavily reliant on the relationship between the supposed "appropriater" and "appropriatee" and the nature of the supposed appropriation.

To systemically culturally appropriate is to assume a relationship of oppression.

An example would be that black dancers might find it uncomfortable or at least sad that there has been a trend by some schools of white dancers of moving away from the African-American movements and styling that underpinned the origins of the dance, and it would be a good thing for students to learn about the body movements, rhythms and musicality as originating from African dancing rather than blindly copying the white modern lindy hoppers that they tend to see on YouTube.

Those who appropriate are taking from cultures that are perceiving oppression. Thus, cultural appropriation happens in situations when one culture has a history of oppressing another, and the oppressed culture still has a perception of being oppressed. This is why cultural appropriation is a much larger deal in America as there is still a perception of oppression in many cultural groups.

However, it also explains why many groups don't feel culturally appropriated, because there is not necessarily that same perception of oppression.

So the question becomes, does your culture create a perception of oppressing Black Americans? Note that this does not refer to you being a white male, but instead about your actual heritage and culture. Second, there is the act of appreciate vs. appropriate. What counts as appreciating vs. appropriating can be very tight.

In the past year, I've met many pros who actually have very differing opinions on this. Some hold a strong belief that we are re-enacters of an era and staying to the roots is best, while others believe that the dance has grown and needs to push its limits and evolve.

And this leads me to an interesting perspective that has gotten some attention in Sociology at the moment: personal cultural appropriation.

When a person claims cultural appropriation, there's usually an implication of disrespect or offense, yet a single person, nor a group of people, can claim for an entire culture and its history. This also leads to the question of who has the right to claim cultural appropriation.

So this is going into rather unanswered questions, but is more based on interesting happenings that have occurred in the last 4 or so years.

There have been studies that show that 2nd or 3rd generation Americans often face cultural dismorphism, where they don't feel like they belong to their parents' or grandparents' culture, but don't feel like they belong to the general "American" culture of their peers. This often causes them them to latch on to their ethnic history very strongly. A study that my peer is currently working on has shown support to the idea that many ethnic-Americans who are 2nd or 3rd generation feel a "right" to their culture, that their parents' and grandparents' don't feel the same way.

Many immigrants or 1st generation Americans were actually surveyed to love the idea of their culture spreading, even in ways that many people consider "cultural appropriation," such as South Asians enjoying when their children's friends partake in cultural jewelry and clothing, or East Asians loving the spread of food culture and fusion cuisine.

These are all interesting points.

I think for 2nd or 3rd generation ethnic-Americans, there's a feeling of confusion when the cultural qualities or traditions that caused them to feel different or made fun of while growing up in the US are suddenly thought of as "hip," "trendy," or "fashionable." Along with that is the awareness of the transient nature of trends.

As a non-cultural example, let's say you've always liked cat memes, but people thought you were weird.

Then all of a sudden cat memes were all the rage. People would think you were trendy. Then cat memes fall out of favor and doggo memes are in. People will think that you are "behind the times."

Furthermore, there is an interesting wave of Africans who believe that Black Americans are appropriating their culture(s).

A rather incredulous idea, but its true. Whether they hold any merit, is left to be said.

So what counts as cultural appropriation?

And who can really claim it? Systemic cultural appropriation is easier to point out and see, but even that has its nuances (there's an idea that's currently being discussed about whether the idea of a culture masquerading as another counts as cultural appropriation, see Africans believing Black Americans are culturally appropriating). My response to your points is to love this dance.

Do it to your best intentions, and make the dance yours. Love it and respect it, and I don't know anyone who would call you out for that. Your dancing is a statement of who you are, and doesn't belong to any group of people besides yourself.

Don't ignore the cultural history of Lindyhop, but don't let it deter you from finding yourself in this amazing dance.

This is a huge part of appropriation.

The people who originated the thing are shut out of "being good" at it on an international stage because they don't have the money to compete or train "in the right way". The thing that was originated has been changed enough that it is very hard for an on-one dancer and an on-two dancer to dance together, but they have essentially the same name (because I'm sure you didn't know about the on-one on-two split).

The one that developed later in time and and further from the community that built it is given more respect, more notice and more money by people who don't know anything about it.

Eliana

I am enjoying the new resurgance of indie titles that want to capture the charm of old sprice based games.

But there is another reason what they are being more common today.

The people who grew up with pixel graphics games.

Today these same people have enough resources and knowledge to make a game and decide to pay homage to what they enjoy. Or in a more cynical perspective, they're trying to cash in on successful pixel graphic styles.

The thing is, many AAA games already focus on realism in graphics.

Indie devs are often times single developers, or small teams. They have absolutely no way to compete on the realistic graphics front with AAA titans like EA, Ubisoft and the like. Why bother with trying to make a 3D game and make it look like it's from the Playstation era, when you can actually create beautiful sprites and backgrounds in half the time?

It's cheaper (under the right circumstances), conveys the game mechanics just as well and looks far better than what they can do without a dedicated animation department.

It's also important to note that 2D worlds are far easier to code, since collisions can be far more precise and easier to predict. It's also less resource-dependant, which is crucial for indie games. When you create a product that's niche by design, why reduce your audience even further because of high system requirements?

It's also because of the tools that became available to the general public.

It's really easy to make a good 2D game using Game Maker, Multimedia Fusion or Stencyl, all of them free to use (or with free versions to try before buying). 3D is starting to slowly catch up (especially thanks to Unity and the new Unreal Engine), but they still have a way to go.

Doesn't mean there aren't those few who make more cartoony aesthetics, just like there's some indie devs who aim for more realism, but that just tends to be the trend.

Personally, I'm just thankful that the trends are slowly moving away from 8-bit imitations to 16-32 bit ideas.

Some might seem silly, but there's genuine art and talent behind a really good, well animated set of sprites. There's a certain artistic charm to it that's just lost in 3D a lot of the time. I'm a big fan of the approaches of WayForward or Lab Zero Games, who opt more often than not for hand drawn looking animations in lieu of pixel graphics, which hit a great middle ground in representing cartoony/fantasy places, while still making use of advanced technology.

I'd argue it takes a hell of a lot of skill to have high quality, HD hand drawn animations, even if it's not exactly breaking your processor or aiming for realism.

But, there are some who do use retro graphics for convenience instead of a deliberate art style or focus.

I hate the phrase, but sometimes it really does depend on a game by game basis. Does the developer want to evoke a certain style and feel that pixel graphics are best to represent it, or do they have limited budgets and prefer to focus on fine tuning the gameplay at the sacrifice of visual fidelity?

Eliana

When I was in high school I used to play Runescape with some friends. The other day I decided to give it another try. And while I am not sure I will spare the time to play, it was nice to see, and I saw a guy walking around with a "Retro Hunter Cape" and it looked really freaking cool. This lead me on a somewhat unsuccessful quest of how do you get "Retro" skillcapes? I've looked everywhere online and I couldn't find anything whatsoever.

What I did learn was that anything with retro before it's name is keepsaked and equipped as a cosmetic override.

That's just the name it takes on.

There is no actual item named "Retro Slayer Cape" or anything like that.

When a skillcape that's been switched to the old version has been keepsaked, its name changes to Retro. They're basically just wearing the old skillcape design which can be toggled by speaking to any skillcape seller :)

Eliana

I hate the 80's. And now I will be attending a party that is focusing completely on the 80's. Think Miami Vice or something like that.

A lot of my friends, and mostly everyone going, will most likely be wearing some horrible disco suits with fake afros and stuff, or tracksuits in funky colors or something, that really doesn't fit.

My issue is, that I'm not really up for spending money on something like that, since I know theres no way in hell I'd wear it again.

And is there any outfits from the 80's that look good?

The standard advice I have gotten for theme parties is Goodwill. I think that doubly applies if its a theme you don't like. But I am not sure if this is going to work here.

I am thinking about getting a fake vintage rock tee from H&M for like 10 bucks, probably already own a pair of jeans that would work well enough, and any sort of retro sneaker would probably work too.

But other than that. I am not spending more.