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Conspiracy Against American Culture

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posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 04:52 PM
(note: please don't skim if you're going to reply. Whenever I do a post like this, someone who agrees with me yells at me for something I never intended)

I propose that there is a Conspiracy Against American Culture. I felt compelled to start listing bad aspects of American Culture after being told that we were too consumerist, violent, and too religious of a culture, all within the same hour. I was able to justify each one in my head, and even added fear-based, youth-worshipping, and self-loathing to the list. Some more I listed along the way didn't quite qualify as bad values.

Etiquette, art, history, environmental concerns, tradition, geographic knowledge, and education, we seem to place great verbal value on, even though our votes and our money typicaly go elsewhere. It doesn't mean we don't value them, it's just that our nation's history hasn't been around long enough to have piles of it all laying around for thousands of years. Most of our towns aren't even 100 years old yet. We've got some really great museums, but let's face it, there's only so much cultural history of this sort you can fit in a little over 200 years, and most of that time we were fighting for our very survival against someone, so there wasn't much time for honing techniques. By the time we just got settled into some form of art we could call our own, some other damned fool was attacking, and by the time the fighting finished, the art form had died out because culture tends to do that till something sticks, and it's really hard to make culture stick while people are busy shooting at each other.

Anyway, I'm not going to apologize for my country's culture anymore, because I also realized we cherish some things far more than any of that, and certainly more than the negative values I listed: Freedom and Liberty, Human Rights, Saving The World, Science and Technology, Happiness and Laughter, Prosperity, Family and Friends... not neccessarily in that order, but all very good traits to have.

We sometimes stumble while pursuing our "good" cultural values, but I challenge anyone to claim their nation hasn't. Sometimes we have to make compromises to deal with unpleasant realities, but again, the same challenge exists. Sometimes we go way overboard on a good thing, and turn it into something bad. Again, who can claim otherwise? The fact of the matter is that American Culture isn't about any one particular thing, and our heart is in the right place.

I honestly don't know what's in the years ahead. Maybe a new administration will bring change for the better, maybe it will be worse, maybe nothing will have changed. But before your particular country, religion, or faction decides to hate American culture, realize that we all, deep down, value the same important things: loved ones, happiness, and the future. We may not always see eye to eye on how to achieve those goals, but do we really need to?

Isn't it time the conspiracy against American Culture ended? I'll admit, sometimes certain Americans do bad things. Address them, their actions, or their company. Don't get fooled into blaming America as a country, because, frankly, most of us won't know why, because most of us never wanted anything bad to happen to anyone, except perhaps by way of justice for crimes.

We don't endorse bad things, they just happen sometimes. Again, can anyone make the claim that this never happened in their country? As a people--well, as close to a "people" as Americans get--we're good-hearted folk. We're not perfect, and I daresay no nation is, but we're trying real hard. Don't give in to the CAAC.

Thank you.

posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 05:37 PM
Thelibra, quite an interesting topic. Here is why. America doesn't really have a culture of its own. There is a couple of reasons for this that I can think of offhand

(1) America, as compared to most European nations is quite young. We are not even 250 years old yet as a nation.

(2) We are a nation of immigrants.

Instead of America developing its own culture, we have assimilated everyone elses. Now, it can be argued that freedom,justice and liberty are the center pieces of american culture. Yet, in comparison to most European nations, it is not culture at all. I am not quite sure what it is that you are labelinh "American" culture.

posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 09:16 PM
I would have to say that the U.S.A. has indeed forged a culture that is unique to them.

Although young , America has lived a very full life. A war of independance, a civil war, witch trials, assassinations of Presidents, attempted genocide of a native people, a history of slavery, involvement in more wars than many other countries put together.

America has produced it's own mythology, much of it drawn from it's early life; Paul Bunyon & Babe the Blue Ox, Pecos Bill & Slue-foot Sue, Johnny Appleseed, Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Bell Witch, Davy Crockett & Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, John Henry, Casey Jones, Daniel Boone, Annie Oakley, Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane, The Hatfields and the McCoys.

As with all mythologies most of these are based upon actual people and events but have been romanticised and skewed out of proportion.

When looking over the more popular of the American myths we see a theme of violence and death.

Some would say that the American culture is the very antithesis of European culture. Many Europeans describe the American culture as coarse and vulgar, yet many of them are secretly in love with many aspects of American culture.

The great Rockabilly singer Charlie Feathers did not have a mass following in America, but go to Europe and you will find he is worshipped like a god.

D. H. Lawrence, writing in "The Plumed Serpent", described America as "The Great No", the total negation of the positive life forces exhibited on every other continent.

Frank Norris, who wrote what is possibly the greatest and most fearful description of the American White Manifest Destiny, "Mcteague".

Contemporary artists such as David Lynch (In his seminal "Twin Peaks series), Joe Coleman and William Burroughs understand the darkness that lives at the heart of America.

To quote Burroughs;

America is not a young land.
It is old...
and dirty and evil.
Before the settlers,
before the Indians.
The evil is there waiting.

Although a nation of immigrants, America (Be it the people or the influence of the continent itself) has put it's own twist on many beliefs and customs.

* The conversion of Palo Mayombe into Voudoun.
* The ancient celebration of Samhain as Halloween.
* The creation of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry as an appendant body out of regular Freemasonry.

I am an Australian, a country not much younger than the U.S.A., yet with no real cultural identity. We have mostly remained an extension of the British Empire, yet without access to it's history and culture.

We have not melded our culture with the Aboriginal myths and beliefs, unlike the Americans who have absorbed so much from the Native Americans and even cultures like the Aztecs, the Spanish, and the Africans.

It amazes me to see a country not much older than my own influence the world in such a unique way.

American music is one of the most influential in the world, be it Motown, Rockabilly, the Blues, Country & Western, etc...

I believe that when a country produces it's own unique voice in the world of the arts, they have produced their own culture.

I don't really see a conspiracy against your culture, but a fear of it. America is a war-like culture and this causes other nations to view it with suspicion and fear. I don't think it is a negative thing to be war-like, but others may. It is the ancient war cultures that are most remembered: The Romans, the Celts, the Mongols, the Teutons, the Vikings, .

All of the above mentioned cultures have had their own positive aspects yet they are viewed overall as being war-like.

The Wild West seems to be lodged in many peoples minds when they think of America.

Hollywood may be to blame for much of the world's perception of America.

Nearly every country in the world is privy to American news services and this is not reciprocated. What makes good copy? Sex and Death. We get to see the school massacres, the serial killings, the incursions into other countries, the race problems, the shot heard round the world.

[edit on 24-10-2006 by Beelzebubba]

posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 07:37 AM
Sorry it took so long for me to get back on this thread, but I wanted to get a couple of international perspectives before I replied. All three told me the same thing in so many words:

American culture centers around the individual.

It actually makes quite a bit of sense the way they told it, and it had never really occurred to me before. Americans pay attention to he or she that stands out, and those that do stand out usually revel in the attention. Sometimes that individuality is good, sometimes it's bad, but the important thing is that we're always striving to be a little bit different, to stand out from one another. That's not seen nearly as much in a lot of other countries. I'm not saying individuality doesn't exist outside of America, but rather it doesn't get nearly the same level of social worship.

Of course it also explains our nationwide attention span of a gnat, and the historic appreciation of a toddler, but at least it gives me something of an idea as to what exactly our culture is about, when it comes right down to it.

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