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36 replies
Americanization
Icbites
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No matter where you go, It seems like getting away from the usual ‘American Lifestyle’ is getting harder and harder to do.
Travellers hoping to see countries the way they depicted are soon woken up by the cruel realty of americanization.
 
Yes, Fast food chains, Megamarts like Walmart and Target are all Businesses, so they will go where there’s potential for money,
but doesn’t this upset you?
 
I’m worried about Globalization/Americanization dilluting local cultures, which is the reason we travel in the first place.

Because I’m posting on a travel website and not ‘The young Entrepreneur’ im sure most opinions will be on par with my own,
so don’t feel obliged to reply, because I could care less what your think.
 
 
 

rob_co2
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What about those damn Chinese and all their restruants?  Shit, I got to Cuzco, Peru and still find chinese restruants!!

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First of, if you don’t care what others think, why do you bother posting to begin with?

IMHO, Globalization does not equal Americanization.

For all we know, since the first human being met someone from a different tribe the whole history was about absorbing ways of life of the others to make own lives better. That’s called progress. When you walk the streets of Paris you probably don’t think of all those who died from famine and lack of sanitation. And you certainly don’t want those times to come back. Now we can argue that nowadays the progress is too rapid and too much is being sacrificed to it. Perhaps, but whether this is so or not depends on one’s vantage point.

As far as golden arches being slapped on just about anything, well, I too think that some American companies often have too much money, and too little sensitivity. I’m sure however that, like any other instance of colonization, it’s a temporary state of affairs. Just look at Germany where Wal-Mart got kicked out by Metro, which IMHO is equally “authentic”.

mb
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Globalization started centuries ago.  It’s just faster now.  The Romans conquering and building from Britain to South Africa.  The British travelling around and making the British Empire and the USA.  The vikings travelling to pre-america and leaving remnants of their culture. 

That’s the problem with travel.   You get some of “their” culture and leave some of yours.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

Don
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All those damn Irish pubs around the world !!! Feckin Guinness and Harp!! I’d be better of with Budweiser and Moosearse….

sammohanty
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I was in a remote mining town in India where the nearest airport is 8 hour away. In the middle of nowhere there is one decent hotel which has the logo and the sign both in English and Chinese.
 
later on that evening, at the bar, I thought i was in Beijing. The restaurant even had a chinese menu.
Talk about globalisation and that too in a village in India????

I am leaving from US and traveling for 11 days
London, Brussels, Basel, Paris, London
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Cil
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heh
That’s interesting, Sammohanty.
I do not think that Globalization can be utterly and completely equated with Americanization.  Far from it.
And it’s true that it’s been going on for centuries.
However, the English language does seem to be awfully pervasive.
And it does seem to come down to economics most of the time.
Obviously there is, right now, a struggle going on between those who reject Western culture, and those who represent it.
But yeah, those Chinese restaurants seem to be ubiquitous.
I’ll take a Guiness pub over a Starbuck’s any day.


sammohanty
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The Chinese are taking over anywhere and everywhere there is mineral resources. Looking at some of the investments they are doing in Brazil and Paraguay on all the mines.
 
same thing goes in Africa. Although I didn’t see too much of them in Nigeria and Benin last year but I was told that as you go deep into territories of Endo state there are chinese investments everywhere from parks to schools,
 
so the concept of Americanization is really outdated and big governments of China and India are really taking the concepts into new heights.
 
England simply amazes me with how the Asians have taken over. Traditional fish and chips are no longer in existenence any more. Here at Willesden Green, there is not one American chain here.
 
I don’ think the chains do well in England. As a matter of fact, i think they are closing them down. Again I cannot really talk on stats.
 
Surely, you will see a odd McDonalds or Burger Kings but I really don’t see much when i travel abroad. I travel to mining and deeper inner country sides and I rarely see anything American.
 
What i notice is the sense of cleaniliness, nice toilets, better seating arrangements, wearing gloves when serving from food counters, net over the hair, constant cleaning, something which is so common at home is the better concepts that has been taken and practised overseas. More importantly, they have a deeper respect for Americans than anyone else for that matter.
 
I see a real warm reception for me than anyone else. Maybe it is my perceptions.
 
To give you an example here in london, I am at a guest house and I am told that the cleaning lady is here more frequently than when others are here. She rarely shows up and perhaps the hated concept of tipping is where the the trick lies, Smile
Yes, that is surely Americanization.
 
I was in KL last year, and the concept of refunds and returns was started by WalMart. The folks love it as they don’t see fit, they can return it. Previously, if the shoe gets bad in 10 days, you lose it.
 
I would like the originator to provide more examples of americanization in specific countries.
 
 

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London, Brussels, Basel, Paris, London
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mb
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Don

All those damn Irish pubs around the world !!! Feckin Guinness and Harp!! I’d be better of with Budweiser and Moosearse….

 
UH! NO!  I guess you don’t have to drink american bud.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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Quote:
ORIGINAL: MB

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ORIGINAL: Don

All those damn Irish pubs around the world !!! Feckin Guinness and Harp!! I’d be better of with Budweiser and Moosearse….


UH! NO!  I guess you don’t have to drink american bud.

 
I dunno, outside of Ireland and UK, I would just about prefer american budweiser over guinness.  Its such a shame how many good beers ruin their reputation when they export. 

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I’ll guess all the ‘Americanization’ ‘Chinese’ doesn’t matter bcoz all I want is, I feel safe in every country that I been. World peace is better than anythings man. Well colonization started long ago, now it penetrate in the economy. If I have a lot money, off course I will open branch in NYC[]. At the end of the day, u end up 6 feet under…. so enjoy now my son. But ill guess, peace won’t come easily.

My 2 cents.

Cheers Bro’s & Sista.

Icbites
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I hope to God English isn’t your first language.
Please!, Renew my faith in society, say it ain’t so!

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I hate americans.

Fat, ugly… sweaty, useless… stinky

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Don’t worry Jboy.

Natural selection will take it’s coarse and the fat sweaty americans will simply die off.
This cultural strain on society is as tetius as the country itself.

Don
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course
tedious

rob_co2
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young immature computer nerds will die off as well. 

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Sometimes people equate human progress with “Americanization” or “westernization,” describing modern Asian cities like Shanghai as “westernized” or sometimes “Americanized” because they drive cars and work in skyscrapers.  That’s an extremely americentric/ethnocentric way of looking at it; taking credit for human progress.  Modernization is NOT Americanization; the modern Asian urban model is entirely different from that of the United States anyways, and cars weren’t even invented in the US.  I find it extremely annoying when people returnng from Asia will describe a particular city as “Americanized.”  Americans didn’t invent modernity.

The one thing that does worry me, however, is that globalization seems to be doing away with global diversity.

There’s two ways to look at diversity:

A.) the American perspective endorses local diversity but global homogeneity.  It’s a very hypocritical concept, IMO, and this is the very reason the the United States was the only country to disagree with the UN charter on cultural diversity.  Little known fact to ordinary Americans, and kind of surprising given all the hoopla and hurrah rhetoric for diversity that we have in the US.  To illustrate this point, the American perspective of “diversity” is one where every city across the globe is a carbon-copy of Los Angeles: English is the lingua franca, everyone watches Hollywood films and listens to Hollywood pop music, and there’s an “Italian restaurant” a “Chinese take-out” and an Irish pub on every corner.  We are taking bastardized bits and pieces from a handful of cultures, fusing them into a single global pop culture, and forcing this model down everyone’s throats.  So much for diversity.

B.) the international perspective of diversity (spearheaded by Canada and France) endorses preservation of local culture for the wider goal of global diversity.  IE Canada should remain Canadian (this encompasses the country’s subcultures: English-Canadians and subcultures [western, eastern, Maritime], French-Canadian and subcultures [Quebecois, Acadian, etc], the Inuit peoples, etc), France remains French (including regional cultures [Paris, Provence, Bourgogne, Normandie, etc] and linguistic minorities [Corsicans, Bretons, etc], China as Chinese (and regional cultures, as well as linguistic minorites, etc)…and there needs to be preservation of local film industries, music (both traditional and local pop musics), the arts, etc.  These are all worth preserving for the sake of TRUE global diversity, and not converted into a carbon copy of Los Angeles with American pop music, Irish pubs, so-called “Italian” restaurants, and so on and so forth.

Because when I visit Paris, or Tokyo, or Bombay, Berlin, Moscow, Guadalajara, Hanoi, London, Hong Kong, Madrid…..I want to experience the cultures of those palces.  Not a carbon copy of Los Angeles for the sake of dumb-happy “diversity.”  Nothing wrong with cultures influencing each other, but it’s the American interpretation of “diversity” that we’re shoving down everyone’s throats that bothers me.


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Don
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ORIGINAL: luv_the_beach
the American perspective of “diversity” is one where every city across the globe is a carbon-copy os Los Angeles…


Really? Please explain.

luv_the_beach
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I already did.

Quote:
the American perspective endorses local diversity but global homogeneity.  It’s a very hypocritical concept, IMO, and this is the very reason the United States was the only country to disagree with the UN charter on cultural diversity.  Little known fact to ordinary Americans, and kind of surprising given all the hoopla and hurrah rhetoric for diversity that we have in the US.  To illustrate this point, the American perspective of “diversity” is one where every city across the globe is a carbon-copy of Los Angeles: English is the lingua franca, everyone watches Hollywood films and listens to Hollywood pop music, and there’s an “Italian restaurant” a “Chinese take-out” and an Irish pub on every corner.  We are taking bastardized bits and pieces from a handful of cultures, fusing them into a single global pop culture, and forcing this model down everyone’s throats.  So much for diversity.


In other words, Americans look at diversity at the local level only, but not at the global level.  A so-called “Italian” restaurant, an Irish pub, and a “Chinese” take-out in your neighborhood.  That’s “diversity.”  We then apply this cookie-cutter concept to cities across the globe, and cities like Beijing, Rome, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Munich, Cairo, Bangkok, Montreal, Amsterdam, Osaka, even Chicago…will no longer be culturally unique.  Every city will look like Los Angeles:

Quote:
every city across the globe is a carbon-copy of Los Angeles: English is the lingua franca, everyone watches Hollywood films and listens to Hollywood pop music, and there’s an “Italian restaurant” a “Chinese take-out” and an Irish pub on every corner.  We are taking bastardized bits and pieces from a handful of cultures, fusing them into a single global pop culture, and forcing this model down everyone’s throats.


It’s the new global culture.  Local cultures are giving way for this new global pop culture.  Bits and pieces of various cultures are fused into a bastardized global culture…shrimp fried rice, sushi, Guiness, chicken alfredo, and American hip hop.  Supposedly this is “diversity,” but in reality, it’s the homogenization of the world, with America spearheading this horrid project. 

And America then criticizes cultures around the world who don’t want to accept it.  How?  We have the WTO that looks at film simply as a consumer product, not a a cultural tradition; hence the threat that well-financed Hollywood poses to local film industries around the world, threatening to kill local cultural expressions…just one example.  And then the US media pokes fun at local cultural struggles abroad, concerning things like McDonald’s in Bologna and Starbuck’s in Vienna.  Once again equating modernity with “Americanization.” …they somehow need to give up their cultures to be “modern,” and are stubborn if they refuse to do so. 

This is a difficult thing for Americans to see/grasp…but having lived in Norway for quite sometime, I’d expect you to know what I’m talking about.


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Don
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Yes, your explanation and broad, sweeping stereotypical ideas are hard to grasp—especially the way you have supposedly “explained” them.

You made a statement, went on to tell how you feel and share your ideas while blaming and categorizing all “Americans” this way. Anybody can feel the way they want about anything.

I tend not to buy these ideas you have—broadly categorizing “America” as leading the world decline of culture—because you’re not backing your ideas up with facts, statitistics, data. You’ve got anecdotal evidence and feelings, and that just doesn’t persuade me.

You purport a grand conspiracy of “Americans” and American media. That’s fine. Please explain. Extraordinary claims—and you’ve made a few—require extraordinary evidence.

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No, Don.

You just described yourself

Not me.

You have never stepped foot in Southern Europe, but claim that the water in Greece is bad.  Talk about sweeping generalizations and not backing your shit up with facts and data.  Look who’s calling the kettle black.

Maybe you should just stick to giving airfare advice? 

As for Americanizations and global culture, I gave you specific concrete examples (world film industries, UNESCO charter on diversity), and if you’d like to investigate this further, do a Google News search as articles have been written on the subject.

I didn’t say its a US media “conspiracy.”  I said the US media criticizes anything and everything it does not understand.  Meaning, that there’s extremely ethnocentric viewpoints on the part of ordinary Americans including journalists and this is reflected in the US media.  I also implied that American interests, notably the American film and music industries, influence Washington’s opposition to cultural protectionist proposals in the UN and WTO.  Additionally, Americans are quickly losing their own culture, in favor of this new global pop culture they’re promoting.

But apparently these points were lost on you.  

And I also pointed out that the American perspective on “diversity”&nbsparadoxically&nbspromotes global homogeneity.  Not diversity.  Some generalizations are true: Americans believe that having an Olive Garden, O’Brien’s Pub, Zen Sushi, and a Chang’s Chinese Take Out in your neighborhood constitutes “diversity.”  That’s not what diversity is.  Diversity means that local/native cultures are&nbspromoted [including traditional American culture(s)], and not replaced with a bastardized global culture.  Fortune cookies aren’t really Chinese, and there’s more to Italy than chicken alfredo; I’d hate to see the day when the Chinese and Italian film industries crumble because of Hollywood’s aggressive antics (no Hollywood’s success cannot be completely attributed to consumer demand. that’s a lie.)

Here’s an article from the New York Times.  You can’t access without paid subscription, but if you’re interested in pursuing the article, here it is:

U.S. all but alone in opposing Unesco cultural pact

By Alan Riding (The New York Times) THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2005

Choosing to defend Hollywood’s interests over joining an international consensus, the United States stood almost alone at Unesco Thursday in opposing a new convention on cultural diversity designed to combat the homogenizing effect of cultural globalization.

This shouldn’t be a difficult concept for a seasoned traveler to understand.






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Don
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LTB, why are making personal attacks? I simply asked you to clarify and support your statements so we could better understand your point of view. An opportunity to clarifiy and further explain your views should not be seen as a threat. I don’t read your comments much, so maybe this is just your style of expressing yourself.

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Ah yes, the ‘hit and retreat’ technique made infamous by Don.


LTB, You lived/live in Norge?

I was there for a bit. Mostly Oslo, but I did spend a few months in Stavanger.
What do you think about Norway?

IMO, besides the women. The ‘arm n’ a leg’ price of everything and the coldness of the people left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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You 2 are so easy to wind up. Thanks for the entertainment.

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Don has lived/lives in Norway, not me.


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Quote:
ORIGINAL: luv_the_beach

And I also pointed out that the American perspective on “diversity”&nbsparadoxically&nbspromotes global homogeneity.  Not diversity.  Some generalizations are true: Americans believe that having an Olive Garden, O’Brien’s Pub, Zen Sushi, and a Chang’s Chinese Take Out in your neighborhood constitutes “diversity.”  That’s not what diversity is.  Diversity means that local/native cultures are&nbspromoted [including traditional American culture(s)], and not replaced with a bastardized global culture. 

 
I dunno LTB, I have to disagree a little.  Yes the average consensus of Americans would fall within these lines, especially the “families living in suburbia with 2.4 kids and a suv” type.  But there is definately a sizeable sub-category of Americans, which seems to be on the rise, that is doing its own thing (not exactly clinging to their roots, but then again American doesn’t have many deep, diverse roots).  I can’t acurately describe this group (I guess thats good thing), but I definately see it and it seems to be increasing. 
I think you might be able to compare America’s diversity issue to its beer.  Yes America is known for having shitty light beer and yes Bud light is the #1 selling beer in the country.  Obviously there are ton of people out there that drink their light shit all the time, are happy with it and don’t want diversity in their beer (and this probably reflects their lifestyle: don’t travel, buy groceries from wal-mart, eat out at applebees).  But the US now has 100s of microbreweries out there because a large group of people said, “No!  I don’t want this same old crap.”  I know willingness to try new things doesnt automatically equal cultrual diversity, but I think these&nbspeople are the type that when given the opportunity, will choose and support the authentic, culturally diverse restruant/brewery/farmers market/film/etc. 
 
And I think you are highly underestimateing the US in its culinary diversity.  The Northwest, Mid/Southwest, Deep South, Louisiana, Southern Florida, and Northeast are all well known for having their very distinct and unique culinary profiles.  Sure there are another 10 chain restruants being built as we speak, but that doesnt mean they don’t have cultural diversity in their food and a following of people who seek it. 
Also, I don’t know if Olive Garden deserves to be grouped with all the other chains.  No its not the same items as you would find on a menu at a classic restruant in Italy, but its a helluva lot closer than most pizza & pasta joints in the US.  Their chefs are sent to culinary school in Italy and I would be willing to bet that a lot of their items closely reflect that of a modern-style restruant in Italy. 
 
Basically I think you are right, American is slowly crawling its way toward homogenity (which seems to be closely linked to cooperateization).  And as with cooperatization, there are a lot of people in the country who don’t support it…just not as many as those who do support it (many who are often unaware). 

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Basically I think you are right, American is slowly crawling its way toward homogenity (which seems to be closely linked to cooperateization).  And as with cooperatization, there are a lot of people in the country who don’t support it…just not as many as those who do support it (many who are often unaware). 

 
It doesn’t matter how the minortity of Americans feel about cooperatization or globalization.
 
We’re talking about globalization and chain companies expanding in countries other than the United states and that depends completely on the people of the country.
 
These companies often run smaller, local business out of place. Hence the problem of ‘Diluting local culture’ (assuming you would consider local businesses part of the culture)
 
Also, please try to elaborate on this group of Americans that you believe are on the rise. I wouldn’t know anything about them, but it does interest me.

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rob_co2
 
Remember the days when Americans ate turkey with peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy?  And then had a piece of cheesecake for dessert?  Americans were THIN then. 
 
But now cooking is beneath us. 
 
Call it “50s” call it “old world” call it “ethnic” call it “sexist” call it what you want….America is now fat.  Now we’re all either vegans or vegetarians, or we’re on the low-carb or Atkins diets, or South Beach diets or Seattle Sutton, and we’re all FAT.  And then you have newbie posters asking whether or not they’ll survive in Europe with their latest Yankee dietary requirements (ummm…they may not have trendy diets, but Europeans are a lot healthier than YOU are.)  It has yet to occur to people that the culprit is overeating, imbalanced diets, and processed foods…not any specific food group (meats, carbs, etc).
 
My point is, that this is just ONE negative consequence of giving up traditional American culture. 
 
And this includes the regional cultures too, that you brought up.  New England, Louisiana, Texas, South Florida, Deep South, Southern African-American, etc…I’m afraid it’s all getting lost.
 
As for America not having deep roots, I disagree with that.  As an Anglo-Saxon nation, America is deeply rooted in Anglo-Celtic culture(s) and Anglo-Saxon civilization (with a West African influence of course, and some American Indian influence), as much as we try to deny America’s ethnic Anglo component, trying to convince ourselves that we are an ethnically-neutral state that’s&nbspurely a political/idealist/utopian entity (“nation of immigrants…came here for freedom…established a new nation” bla bla bla).  Things like Christmas and Halloween are not Hallmark holidays (although they are becoming that)…they have pagan/Christian/Anglo-Celtic roots, just like America
 
If Americans don’t recognize and respect their own culture and ethnic roots…they are less likely to respect other cultures.  So when people in Bologna fret about McDonald’s setting up shop, it bewilders us.  When people in Paris fret about Hollywood taking over, it bewilders us.  They want to remain “old world” and don’t want to accept modernity. (somehow Americanization is “modernity.”)  We are bewildered that the Chinese closed up the Starbucks in the Forbidden City.  We just don’t get it.  Why?  Because we don’t respect our own culture.  We are supposedly “modern” and “forward looking” because we eat fast, assembly line food that’s drenched in fattening sweeteners, industrial cooking oils, fillers, and preservatives.  We don’t stop to enjoy the day…we  drive everywhere and stay indoors as much as possible in our home theaters, our malls, and our Applebee’s.  But OH!  We have Vito’s Pizza and Chong Chang’s Chinese Take Out!  I can experience all the world’s cultures at my local mall!  Yipee!!  Dumb-happy diversity!
 
The point I’m trying to make is that we need some middle ground between&nbspast and future; and while other industrialized nations have had considerable success in doing this, we seem to be miserably failing in America.  I’m not saying we need to get women back into the kitchen.  I’m saying that we need to get women and men back into the kitchen.  I’m not saying we need to go back to putting a scarlet letter on adulterers.  I’m saying that we need to stop being so fuckin polarized between non-religious and fanatical Christians. (Whatever happened to moderate Christians who were once the majority?) What I’m saying is that there needs to be some sort of recognition for America’s ethno-cultural heritage (Anglo-Christian).  Immigrant groups won’t get offended, trust me, as a descendant of imigrants myself, I actually find political correctness insulting and patronizing…not comforting (WASP Americans need to stop pretending they know how immigrants think and feel.)  We Americans need to first stop seeing ourselves as some ethnically-neutral state….start seeing ourselves for who we really are…and then we will be able to understand other countries and cultures.  Why the French and Italians are so attached to their cuisines; why Muslims Islamists and moderates alike are so attached to their religion; why the Chinese and the Greeks are so proud of their past and their civilizations; and so on and so forth…. 
 
Film:
 
Doubly worrying is Hollywood, which is taking over through coercive antics.  Not because of heightened consumer demand, as they will have you believe.  I’m not saying that&nbspeople don’t want to see Holyowood films at all..they do.  No one’s forcing people in Stockholm or Buenos Aires to see an American film at the movie theater; and it’s great that they pursue what is to them a foreign film.  However, Hollywood uses coercive antics to push competing local film industries out of movie theaters.  Why is this worrying?  Aside from traditional culture, there’s also contemporary culture, and Hollywood threatens to wipe out local contemporary cultures in favor of an American one.  It’s hard to explain it but Hollywood as well as US newsmedia (like CNN), will tell stories to the world from an American viewpoint.  Whether overt or unintended and subconscious…the American paradigm is being projected to the world through its cultural exports.  And while exchange of ideas is great, it’s not good that America dominates the global conversation.  And that’s what Washington doesn’t tell you when it opposes cultural protection proposals at the UN.  The US goes on this “human rights, democracy, free exchange of ideas” rant…that all these ideals are supposedly threatened by cultural protectionism (in the age of the internet)…but Washington does not tell you that without cultural protectionism, it is the AMERICAN world paradigm that will dominate, killing the source of diverse global ideas, and thus killing all the ideals that Washingtom claims it’s trying to protect.  Either Washington plain doesn’t get it or more likely doesn’t give a shit, and prefers to see its own paradigm dominate for its own economic and political benefit. 
 
Take the movie 300 for example, which took a moment in Greek history, and added an overt two-dimensional 20th/21st century American spin, with all the rhetoric on “freedom” and what not (it was a box office success in Greece, but Greek film critics trashed the film).  The reality is that if the entire world were to accept the American paradigm, it would lead to global social and economic disaster; because the way things work in America politically and economically is not how things work abroad (and this has been proven several times in East Asia: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and now China, whose economic successes are attributed to the Asian model; when they tried implementing an American idea in the 1990s, it led to economic crisis [additionally communism was also a foreign influence to China and that too didn’t quite work, at least not the Stalinist version]). 
 
Let alone that a domineering Hollywood may slowly and subconsciously stop world cultures from defining themselves, in favor of accepting and embracing how America chooses to see and categorize them. 
 
Very dangerous and very worrying.
 
Free exchange of ideas = good.  Cultures influencing each other = good.  One culture dominating the world = very very bad.


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rob_co2

Remember the days when Americans ate turkey with peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy?  And then had a piece of cheesecake for dessert?  Americans were THIN then. 

But now cooking is beneath us. 

Call it “50s” call it “old world” call it “ethnic” call it “sexist” call it what you want….America is now fat.  Now we’re all either vegans or vegetarians, or we’re on the low-carb or Atkins diets, or South Beach diets or Seattle Sutton, and we’re all FAT.  And then you have newbie posters asking whether or not they’ll survive in Europe with their latest Yankee dietary requirements (ummm…they may not have trendy diets, but Europeans are a lot healthier than YOU are.)  It has yet to occur to people that the culprit is overeating, imbalanced diets, and processed foods…not any specific food group (meats, carbs, etc).

My point is, that this is just ONE negative consequence of giving up traditional American culture. 

And this includes the regional cultures too, that you brought up.  New England, Louisiana, Texas, South Florida, Deep South, Southern African-American, etc…I’m afraid it’s all getting lost.

 
For those who feel that cooking is beneath them, well thats just sad and pathetic, not to mention usually unhealthy and expensive, but its their own conscious decision.  I also realize its largely the fault of cooperate america for brainwashing us with commercials about, “quick, easy, healthy, delicious, diet, cooks in the microwave in just 2 minutes” food.  But still, the consumer buys it, so who is to blame and how do you fix it?  I have no idea, it seems like a loss to me.
 
But at the same time, the culinary world is blossoming for a lot of people, ever notice how many cooking shows are on tv these days?  I know that is cooperate sponsered, but its encourageing people cook healthy from scratch and have interest in all the great culinary customs of the world.  And I think the vegits and vegans fit more into this category than the first, I think their reasoning is more for self identity rather than to jump on the diet bandwagon.  Maybe that isn’t keeping with their anglo roots, but its alright in my book. 
 
Once again, I realize most people fit into the first category and that is sad and pathetic.  But there are many people who prefer the later and I don’t think many of us will give it up and succumb to microwave shit. 
 
Quote:

As for America not having deep roots, I disagree with that.  As an Anglo-Saxon nation, America is deeply rooted in Anglo-Celtic culture(s) and Anglo-Saxon civilization (with a West African influence of course, and some American Indian influence), as much as we try to deny America’s ethnic Anglo component, trying to convince ourselves that we are an ethnically-neutral state that’s&nbspurely a political/idealist/utopian entity (“nation of immigrants…came here for freedom…established a new nation” bla bla bla).  Things like Christmas and Halloween are not Hallmark holidays (although they are becoming that)…they have pagan/Christian/Anglo-Celtic roots, just like America

Well I was sort of comparing to europe, few hundred years vs few thousand, but then again we mostly came from there europe, so…?  And if there is a specific Anglo-American culture then I don’t much about it or if it still exists outside of quakers and small, rural, agriculture based areas. 
 
Quote:

If Americans don’t recognize and respect their own culture and ethnic roots…they are less likely to respect other cultures.  So when people in Bologna fret about McDonald’s setting up shop, it bewilders us.  When people in Paris fret about Hollywood taking over, it bewilders us.  They want to remain “old world” and don’t want to accept modernity. (somehow Americanization is “modernity.”)  We are bewildered that the Chinese closed up the Starbucks in the Forbidden City.  We just don’t get it.  Why?  Because we don’t respect our own culture.  We are supposedly “modern” and “forward looking” because we eat fast, assembly line food that’s drenched in fattening sweeteners, industrial cooking oils, fillers, and preservatives.  We don’t stop to enjoy the day…we  drive everywhere and stay indoors as much as possible in our home theaters, our malls, and our Applebee’s.  But OH!  We have Vito’s Pizza and Chong Chang’s Chinese Take Out!  I can experience all the world’s cultures at my local mall!  Yipee!!  Dumb-happy diversity!

The point I’m trying to make is that we need some middle ground between&nbspast and future; and while other industrialized nations have had considerable success in doing this, we seem to be miserably failing in America.  I’m not saying we need to get women back into the kitchen.  I’m saying that we need to get women and men back into the kitchen.  I’m not saying we need to go back to putting a scarlet letter on adulterers.  I’m saying that we need to stop being so fuckin polarized between non-religious and fanatical Christians. (Whatever happened to moderate Christians who were once the majority?) What I’m saying is that there needs to be some sort of recognition for America’s ethno-cultural heritage (Anglo-Christian).  Immigrant groups won’t get offended, trust me, as a descendant of imigrants myself, I actually find political correctness insulting and patronizing…not comforting (WASP Americans need to stop pretending they know how immigrants think and feel.)  We Americans need to first stop seeing ourselves as some ethnically-neutral state….start seeing ourselves for who we really are…and then we will be able to understand other countries and cultures.  Why the French and Italians are so attached to their cuisines; why Muslims Islamists and moderates alike are so attached to their religion; why the Chinese and the Greeks are so proud of their past and their civilizations; and so on and so forth…. 

Completely Agree!  And hope more people will read, understand, and follow. 

I’m not too big on films, foreign or domestic, so not much comment on that.  But just like everything else, the problem is fueled by someones greed for money.  Money seems to define the progressive, western world, and may very well destroy it. 



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Basically I think you are right, American is slowly crawling its way toward homogenity (which seems to be closely linked to cooperateization).  And as with cooperatization, there are a lot of people in the country who don’t support it…just not as many as those who do support it (many who are often unaware). 


It doesn’t matter how the minortity of Americans feel about cooperatization or globalization.

We’re talking about globalization and chain companies expanding in countries other than the United states and that depends completely on the people of the country.


 
So because a chain company decides to go internationa, that is the fualt of American citizens?  And because another country decides to accept an american company and those people buy into it, that is the fualt of Americans?  I realize we might be the root of the problem, but if you don’t like the tree growing in your yard then just chop it down. 
 
And maybe its not so much that everyone is buying into americanism, maybe this is a natural progression that comes with the advancement of society.  Maybe its because more people around the world are starting to live “comfortably” where they do not have to cook and work every day to survive and can afford to indulge, but the fact is that someone on this planet still has to perform work.  Maybe america just got to this stage first and the others are catching up. 

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rob_co2,

Anglo:

The USA is an Anglo society.  Just as Egypt, Saudi, Libya, Morocco, Iraq, etc are Arab nations.  USA, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and [English-speaking] Canada are Anglo countries.  What does this mean?  Of course, there’s national cultures; there’s a British culture very distinct from American and Australian cultures.  Further, American and British cultures drifted apart, and Britain being in Europe followed a similar political/economic and cultural course as the rest of Europe over the past two, three, or four hundred years.  And, of course, each of the Anglo societies has a unique set of cultural influences: USA, for example, has the African-American minority, and the cultural influences that stem from this ethno-cultural group.  However, all 5 of these countries still have the same ethno-cultural roots.  

As for how “Anglo” America is…well this goes for any culture/society.  How Roman are present-day Italy and France?  Do&nbspeople still watch gladiator fights in amphitheaters and worship Jupiter?  Do people in Mexico still rip the hearts out of captive peoples?  Cultures are not static; they evolve.  Foot-binding in China long outdated wasn’t always practiced…it was introduced at some point maybe 500 years ago, and then vanished as people in that country realized its vulgarity.  Egypt has gone through at least 3 religions from the ancient Egyptian religion, then came Christianity, and then Islam.  These cultures have all evolved over the centuries, and at times absorbed waves of immigrants.

However, historical roots linger and influence contemporary culture.  Modern-day Southern European nations no longer worship Jupiter/Zeus, but they use Roman code in their legal systems.  Day of the Dead, a combination of pre-Columbian beliefs/rituals and post-Columbian Christian aspects, is still a major holiday in much of Mexico.  The same is true for the United States: true that the American legal system was influenced by Greco-Roman ideas and the French Enlightenment, but is still by and large mostly Anglo-Saxon.  And then of course are things like Halloween (USA + Canada), an Anglo-Celtic rooted holiday, even though it is no longer observed in the British Isles.  And there are many, many more Anglo characteristics which we don’t notice, because we consider them a universal norm, when they are none other than distinct ethnic/cultural habits and customs.  One major thing is: we speak English in the USA, not Japanese or Punjab.

Cooking:

I totally agree with you.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the business aspect of cooking: cooking shows, cooking books, etc. I think it’s great when the private sector endorses healthy lifestyles and practices fair business (not lobby corruption, oil politics, etc, etc).  Aside from that, growing up, my parents raised me a very European way; we always had home cooked meals at the dinner table.  Even today, I prepare my own lunches, and people at work give me one of two reactions: either “oh that’s so ethnic“ or “you’re a gourmet chef!” (it’s not that hard to boil some pasta, chop some green peppers and tomatoes, and grill a chicken breast).  The former are the type who look down on cooking as something “old-fashioned” “foreign” “old-world” and what-not, and that’s too bad…it’s their loss as you said.  And I’m not gonna sit here and take this bullshit just because Amerians have lost respect for their own culture, and have gained 50 lbs as a result.  Just because you eat microwave shit, doesn’t mean the rest of the world should follow suit for your approval. (Not directing this at you, rob_co2). 

Worst part of it is, rob_co2, is the condescending attitudes from American vegetarians and vegans towards the lack of vegetarianism/veganism in Europe.  (I don’t know if you’ve seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding where they make fun of the fact that vegetarianism is an alien concept to Greeks, even though Greeks traditionally eat much less meat per capita than Americans, and their traditional diet is actually world-renowned for how healthy it is).  People in Europe are “behind” or “not with the times” or “unhealthy” because they haven’t hopped on the vegetarianism/veganism bandwagon.  Well, guess what, America.  It’s not the Spaniards, or the French, or the Germans, or the Italians, or the Dutch, or the Poles that are fighting an obesity epidemic.  It’s the AMERICANS.  Maybe, by eating a little bit of everything…a little carbs, a little meat, a little veggies, a little dairy…maybe the Europeans ARE doing something right?  And maybe a glass of wine won’t hurt you.  Maybe Europeans do NOT need to change their cuisines and hop on America’s latest craze diet…low-carb, no carb, no meat, no dairy, no fruit, no this, no that, eat your own fecal matter, and God knows what these Yankee trend-setters will come up with next in order to place themsevles on a pedestal and continue to look down on the rest of the world. [:@] 


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  Maybe, by eating a little bit of everything…a little carbs, a little meat, a little veggies, a little dairy…maybe the Europeans ARE doing something right?  


Beer?

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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MB,

Beer for Northern Europe (Belgium, Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, etc…)

Wine for Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, etc…)

And then there’s a grey area in the middle where beer and wine overlap (Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, etc…)

Of course, give Russians their vodka.

 Now everyone can be merry. [Wink]
 
How does that sound?


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All better.  You look like the guy on Globe Trekker.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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That is the dude from Globe Trekker!  Ian Wright


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Gotta’ like his job. (Except for jumping into the frozen lake in Russia.)

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.