Is it a coincidence that most popular daces today have a resemblance to ZCC (Zion Christian Church) mokhukhu bands’ moves? Check out how the dance looks like here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P6wd1rz0bs.
On that in a minute. [If you are here just for the humour, and not the science of artistic theft, scroll straight to B.]
Elvis Presley stole from old black blues singers.
The Rolling Stones stole from black Chess Records artists such as Muddy Waters and Check Berry — and sometimes with permission. Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote The Rolling Stones’ first ever original song. Then Mick Jagger and Keith Richards stole Paul and John’s collaboration stunts of song writing.
Everyone has been stealing. It is good to steal creatively. Most times black artists were stolen from directly and unethically. Melania Trump plagiarised Michelle Obama’s speech. Donald Trump said Melania’s speech received more attention regardless.
“Bad artists copy. Good artists steal” – Picasso.
Black artists must now, creatively, steal from the likes of Adele, Elvis Presley, Steve Hofmeyr, The Rolling Stones, John Mayer, the list is endless. We might be stealing ourselves, in them.
“It is not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to” – Jean-Luc Godard. What we in South African now call toyi-toying is a mishmash of dances stolen from the ZIPRA (Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army) and The Mau Mau people in Kenya. We then improvised or rather localised them for our purposes of keeping moral in struggle – through song and dance. Wikipedia says Robert Mugabe banned toy-toying in 2004, even indoors.
Donna Summer’s 1982 song, ‘Love is in Control’, is produced by Quincy Jones and his thousand channels. Many elements in it can be heard in today’s genres such as techno house and lounge. Everyone steals. “All ideas are second hand” – Mark Twain.
“.. and there is no new thing under the sun” – Ecclesiastes.
Like the quotes above suggest, steal like an artist, what matters is where you take the art. Actually ‘Steal Like an Artist’ is a book by Austin Kleon, check it out.
Penn Jillette, a magician, while making a documentary of The Aristocrats joke, was learning bass and studying improvisation jazz. A colleague on the film, Paul Provenza, transcribed the entire footage (about 125 hours) himself – a gruesome task he could have easily outsourced but chose not to.
Improvisation in music isn’t creating something new. It is adding over played notes with what you know, mixing your signature, and only tiny bits (seconds even) could be original.
He noted the similarities in improvisation of The Aristocrats joke as told by different comedians and in how jazz improvisation (insert link to definition) works. Since Provenza had knowledge of every line uttered in the footage — because he transcribed all of it himself — they mapped the documentary in how, e.g. Miles Davis would do an improvisation piece.
It is ok to steal one bit (not copy but steal) and use to create something new and whole.
Montage of how popular culture steals dance moves from ZCC’s mokhukhu bands, and the art of theft
This following could very well not be true. However, nothing is new, something imitates something.
If you get the art I am talking of, you could very well go steal and create. Hello dancers!
C. Funny dress images of celebrities
Celebrities appear on the red carpet today looking stunning, tomorrow a picture (meme) of some animal, insect or some subject is compared to their outfit. That is the internet for you – baby.
Most of these celebrities become upset. I think they shouldn’t. Maybe everything imitates something, intentionally or not.
Probably the designers reverse engineer these objects or animals into inspiration for a dress. If not they should!!