The culture folks! What about the American Culture.
After all it was the one who conquered the world in a much greater sense than U.S. military power.
Just one example. What won the Cold War? Not ICBMs. American Culture did.
To start my list, I'll start in litterature.
, "the first truly American writer", as stated by..
. M.T.'s most famous novel is by no doubt "Adventures of..
" (an icon of free spirit in itself) ...all American writing
comes from that novel..
, the first commercial success in fiction writing, but none the less works, that
opened up the American frontier to the world.
, a Nobel laureate with outset in the Depression and the flipside of
, perhaps the most famous of the beat poets. Him mentioned..
, comes next in line. He was probably the first to be labeled the "voice of a
generation" and - together wih Keroauc - inspirator for generations still to come. "The Beat Generation", so named from the expression "on the
beat" ..which naturally will lead us on to music, the most embracing of all the American branches of culture.
is at the very root of Music Americana, oweing its uniqueness to its African
roots. Her mentioned, being black and the blues herself, next breath will say..
, THE voice of suffering.
11.Huddie Ledbetter, "Leadbelly"
was the voice of all the injustice suffered by the rural southern
negro, and another style inspirator of cotemporary songwriting still fluxing in music. As for the white boys, the cowboy icon was the spirit of
, the yodling cowboy, was the first white to make it
commercially on the new media of the phonograph - and probably also first to become a radio star. His carrier was short but successful, 1927 to 33,
when he died 36 years old.
was another sad lot, who created his own unique style to influence the
direction popular music was to take. Also he must be tributed for bringing meaningful lyrics into music. Lyrics of a sentimental and very personal
is to look for concerning social indignation expressed in the music, his "dust
bowl ballads" being a parralel to the writing of Steinbeck. Most notable for Guthrie must be, he is creditted for being the inspirational source
. A "musical expeditioneur" in his own words, who, luckyly for us, has been around for
soon a half century. Quite unusual for icons.
16.The Carter Family, A.P. Carter, Sara Carter and Maybelle Carter
, started recording same year
as Jimmie Rodgers, and must be credited for putting the social awareness thing into music. The Carters mentioned, one has to mention an icon in his
own right, who married into the family, namely..
17. Johnny Cash
, The Man in Black, who never forgot his background, who contributed to the legacy
of Music Americana like few has done. Sadly passed away in 2003, less than 4 months after his beloved wife June Carter had died. Two of his children
passes on the musical tradition. As for the many affiliation of music in Cash's carrier..
must be named. The readheaded stranger, dope-smoking cowboy-hippie-troubador.
From him the list could go on endlessly, but let's just pick a few. Like..
, The Boss of urban folk rock and a social commitment to make him worthy
, for his never straying off from the path of the genuine. "God
protects Fools and Songwriters", he's quoted for. He played the leading part in the 1973 film of Sam Peckinpah, "Pat Garrett and..
21.Billy the Kid
". I take the freedom of including him, as the desperado sure is a part of
America. A product and victim to come out of the Civil War.
, to be included for his musicality. Being the guitarist of Grateful Dead, they
actually in 1967 inaugurated the Summer of Love in SF's Haight Ashbury district, where they used to live. As many others of the most gifted, he sadly
passed away in 1995. President Clinton honored him as being "an American icon".
The last three will be icons of the silver screen.
for bringing new technics of acting to the screen and bringing the rebel image
into acting. One who eventually took it to new heights was..
, an icon, fullfilling the criteria of quick outburst and sudden death. Let him be
noted as one connected to the critical and alternative tradition of American litterature.
25.Robert de Niro
for being the one who have sublimed those criterias of acting, and presented
us with a wealth characters representing the shadowside of man and society.
That's my list, and as you see I called it ...of Icons.
Because in Europe heroes are someone who, regardless of their own life, saves another persons life (from drowning, for instance).
"Hero" is a concept we reseve for history. Never heard of a "True German (or French) Hero".