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What is american culture? Does it exist?
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Puma



Joined: 31 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I agree with that. Even Darq acknowledged that very early in this thread. I would add that in no way is this a uniquely American condition.

It's just that I turned on my computer this morning, and saw that Kim Kardashian story, and thought, Okay I can see where Darq is coming from, even if I don't agree with where he went with it.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:51 pm    Post subject: acrimonious TRIPLE WORD SCORE Reply with quote

Mizike wrote:
Thy Brilliance wrote:
Deadened nerves don't work that way.

tinkeringIdiot wrote:
BWAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH




asshat


Since you clearly have some free time, wanna play a passive aggressive game of scrabble?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Darqcyde wrote:
You mean that wasn't highly derivative of being some type of European concept and/or mainly profit driven in it's conception?

What does being "derivative" mean in terms of culture? Do you know how much Greek culture is derived from Slavic? How much Roman from Greek? How much English from German? This is how cultures develop, they don't spring out from a vacuum. Frankly I think the best thing to happen to American music was shameless theft from European and African traditions.
As for "profit-driven," what does that have to do with anything objective?
But at what point is it truly American and not just an attempt to be like another culture? I think there's a significant difference in mimicry and truly making something your own.

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Considering that during that time period most of the 'great' artists and artisans still went over to Europe to study?

Mark Twain, Fats Domino, Thomas Edison (a man who personified "profit-driven"), Walt Whitman... This is a stupid game.
You make some good points but Thomas Edison was a conniving, greedy douche bag who free stole the credit for others' hard work. If anything I think Samuel Clemen's body of work is a great example of something that was truly American.

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Then, with some music and a few works of literature being the exception, that is what I'm saying.

That's why it's stupid. Anything I toss out there you can lump under "being the exception." It's nuts. Do you honestly not think that even post-colonial America, even in the earliest of the 1800s wasn't plainly different from Europe culturally? Prove it.
That was some of the worst periods. Even if something culturally relevant was produced it was often thrown or destroyed later. Take for instance all of those great post-colonial architectural structures on 5th Ave in NYC...wait you've never seen them? that's because they were all demolished for the sake of commercial enterprise.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Darqcyde wrote:
You mean that wasn't highly derivative of being some type of European concept and/or mainly profit driven in it's conception?

What does being "derivative" mean in terms of culture? Do you know how much Greek culture is derived from Slavic? How much Roman from Greek? How much English from German? This is how cultures develop, they don't spring out from a vacuum. Frankly I think the best thing to happen to American music was shameless theft from European and African traditions.
As for "profit-driven," what does that have to do with anything objective?
But at what point is it truly American and not just an attempt to be like another culture? I think there's a significant difference in mimicry and truly making something your own.
it's not clear that you understand those goalposts you're moving.
Quote:
Quote:

That's why it's stupid. Anything I toss out there you can lump under "being the exception." It's nuts. Do you honestly not think that even post-colonial America, even in the earliest of the 1800s wasn't plainly different from Europe culturally? Prove it.
That was some of the worst periods. Even if something culturally relevant was produced it was often thrown or destroyed later. Take for instance all of those great post-colonial architectural structures on 5th Ave in NYC...wait you've never seen them? that's because they were all demolished for the sake of commercial enterprise.
i'm confused -- are you saying that "culture" requires something to provide some tangible intrusion on current existence (rather than mere record of having ever been), or are you suggesting that "culture" denies the possibility of change, that any "culture-something" is immune to the whims of "progress"?
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Puma wrote:
Oh, I agree with that. Even Darq acknowledged that very early in this thread. I would add that in no way is this a uniquely American condition.

It's just that I turned on my computer this morning, and saw that Kim Kardashian story, and thought, Okay I can see where Darq is coming from, even if I don't agree with where he went with it.

Yeah. There's a lot of stupid shit out there, but we've pretty much covered the question originally posed in what, four posts? The rest of this thread has been two long, illogical arguments. Fun times.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom: I'm still trying to figure out where the goal post are.

Also, destroying culturally relevant artifacts goes a long way towards making something irrelevant, especially if the traditions associated with their fabrication are not well documented. Culture has to be 'something', whether a physical (artifacts) or intangible (ideas, beliefs) enduring thing or a transient act (traditions, which includes performances). I'm not saying there can't be progress but I think that tradition is an inherent property of anything that is culturally significant; if no tradition develops then that aspect of culture will be lost and forgotten. We too readily sacrifice tradition for progress.

I feel that American traditions and artifacts should be more advanced than where they are currently but we've held ourselves back by essentially whoring out our past at the cost of our own cultural identity. I think it's a lot weaker and more immature than it should be.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How the fuck do you define what a culture "should" be? Man, we ought to all be discussing Proust, at a 75th grade level, in our virtual classrooms while our fleshy bodies are serviced by Jessica Alba clones. That's what culture ought to be. That's a ridiculous sentiment you need to get over. You have the culture you have, and there is no culture that you "should" have, that you "deserve" to have, or that you "might have had had things gone differently." There is now, and only now, and this is what you get.

EDIT: Which, by the way, is totally irrelevant to whether or not we even have culture (we obviously do, I think that's been settled), or if it's dying (culture doesn't die, it just changes - you may not like it, but them's the breaks).
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think you're largely conflating the artifacts (tangible or otherwise) and their effects.

i could be mistaken, but you seem to be struggling with separating out two questions: (1) is there evidence of a "U.S. experience"? and (2) why isn't all that evidence sitting around where i can see it?

there have been many anecdotal responses to the first question and there are undoubtedly literally thousands more that could be offered, and objected to on the minutiae, but all the dots either start to form a picture or they don't.

as to the second, it sure as heck could be that an indelible aspect of US culture is a refusal to allow "tradition" to reign in progress. that doesn't mean that culture is somehow lost, but perhaps that evolution and revolution play more of a part in this culture and stasis and reverence play less.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen: Let me try to explain my view of use Tom's metaphor of dot's forming a picture. I'm not saying how much of a picture there should be, I'm saying that there are a lot of dots missing that shouldn't be missing.

Tom: Yeah I've come to realize that you've pretty much nailed it with part 2. The thing that bothers me is, not quite sure how to put this, there seems to be this wide spread notion that things are not this way. It's like we're trying to fool our selves into believing quite the opposite.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on your first point: it's like dogen said: you got dots; just 'cuz they don't make a duckie like you wanted, that doesn't mean you don't got dots.


as to your second point, we're back to you not making any fucking sense, again.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
But at what point is it truly American and not just an attempt to be like another culture?

It sure as fuck wasn't waiting until the late 20th century, when words like "alternative rock" came about. You do know rock 'n roll was born in the US from our uniquely American culture, right? If you had stopped for maybe two minutes after considering musical genres you would have already blown the argument you'd made to shreds.


Quote:
You make some good points but Thomas Edison was a conniving, greedy douche bag who free stole the credit for others' hard work.

That makes no difference as to whether or not he was a big contributor to American culture and cultural identity, totally independent of a European education. Which is why I think your "for profit" schtick is a steaming mound of excrement, filled with little wriggling worms.

Quote:
That was some of the worst periods. Even if something culturally relevant was produced it was often thrown or destroyed later. Take for instance all of those great post-colonial architectural structures on 5th Ave in NYC...wait you've never seen them? that's because they were all demolished for the sake of commercial enterprise.

And?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Quote:
You make some good points but Thomas Edison was a conniving, greedy douche bag who free stole the credit for others' hard work.

That makes no difference as to whether or not he was a big contributor to American culture and cultural identity, totally independent of a European education. Which is why I think your "for profit" schtick is a steaming mound of excrement, filled with little wriggling worms.
I disagree. I think examining the character of the one who makes a contribution is vital. Why aren't we taught from early on history in terms of 'Thomas Edison was a shitty human who invented great things'? I think the 'who did it' and 'why they did it' of a person's contribution should not be forgotten about in the midst of the more significant 'what they did'. By your reasoning then it shouldn't matter that Walt Disney was a Nazi sympathizer because he's contributed so much to American culture. Disregarding the character of one mentioned is how we wind up with people idolizing, glossing over, and outright constructing myths of figures in our past.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...so...whether or not Thomas Edison and Walt Disney were douchebags influences whether or not they contributed to a unique American culture?
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Quote:
You make some good points but Thomas Edison was a conniving, greedy douche bag who free stole the credit for others' hard work.

That makes no difference as to whether or not he was a big contributor to American culture and cultural identity, totally independent of a European education. Which is why I think your "for profit" schtick is a steaming mound of excrement, filled with little wriggling worms.
I disagree. I think examining the character of the one who makes a contribution is vital. Why aren't we taught from early on history in terms of 'Thomas Edison was a shitty human who invented great things'? I think the 'who did it' and 'why they did it' of a person's contribution should not be forgotten about in the midst of the more significant 'what they did'. By your reasoning then it shouldn't matter that Walt Disney was a Nazi sympathizer because he's contributed so much to American culture.

Exactly my point, those people did contribute so much to American culture.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

not douchebags

american douchebags
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