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Old 07-25-08, 04:31 PM   #1
zoltani
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Please define american culture

When asked specifically what american culture is i have a hard time explaining it. It can vary from state to state, region to region, but what would you describe as american culture?
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Old 07-25-08, 04:35 PM   #2
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When asked specifically what american culture is i have a hard time explaining it. It can vary from state to state, region to region, but what would you describe as american culture?

A mosaic consisting of a dash of everyone else's culture, add a couple guns, a few religious nuts, and some big cars. Then throw in an amazing ability to make it all work somehow, because when it comes down to it, that's what made us great.
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Old 07-25-08, 04:37 PM   #3
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Arrogant Manifest Destiny.
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Old 07-25-08, 04:43 PM   #4
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Dynamic and ever changing, with regional flavors influenced by multiple waves of immigration.
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Old 07-25-08, 04:51 PM   #5
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Diners. Yum. But that's not much of a definition. So how about "the creative and/or commercial result of tension between independence and collectivism." Even better would be to read U.S.A. by John Dos Passos.
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Old 07-25-08, 04:56 PM   #6
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Arrogant Manifest Destiny.
Everyone says Americans are arrogant. I think thats incorrect, i really think ignorant is a better word.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:03 PM   #7
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I know it exists.Anyone ever encouraged you to visit the National Art Gallery and appreciate the landscapes of American painters./ Just like commerical aspects of Christmas has ruined Christmas for some; I am sure the same forces overshadow our American culture. When one thinks of culture. We have so many examples we could list. A huge list which I fear is too often forgotten. A few. John Philip Sousa, Woodie Guthrie,Carl Sandburg, Frost, Sinclair Lewis, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill, Jackson Pollack, Thomas Cole, Andy Warhol, Whistler, Aaron Copeland, Nat King Cole, Bob Dylan,Jimi Hendrix. F Scott Fitzgerald, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, H. L. Mencken, Louie Armstrong, Noah Webster, W H Auden. Muddie Waters, BB King. Miles Davis . George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein...List making and or name dropping may not be cool. / Yet, Americans don't do it enough. / Without the likes of Noah Webster , world education would be far less inventive. Before America education was hardly thought of as a universal right.
Those most guilty of cutting American culture short: It is us./ We are a very innovative people , if only our media would tell us of our history. Considering the waste that is American radio and how our history is forgotten. Its enough to make one furious. If only we had a media thinking our past is worth telling, then we might remember our accomplishments./ And finally, how can we expect to recall our history when even our high schools pay it such short shrift.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:09 PM   #8
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Only in the quiet, secluded areas with a fairly consistent population will there be a set culture. The USA is a big mix of cultures, which will become somewhat more blended over time. A significant portion of the population still does not use the internet, or only uses it to check e-mail.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:12 PM   #9
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Old 07-25-08, 05:16 PM   #10
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I know it exists.Anyone ever encouraged you to visit the National Art Gallery and appreciate the landscapes of American painters./ Just like commerical aspects of Christmas has ruined Christmas for some; I am sure the same forces overshadow our American culture. When one thinks of culture. We have so many examples we could list. A huge list which I fear is too often forgotten. A few. John Philip Sousa, Woodie Guthrie,Carl Sandburg, Frost, Sinclair Lewis, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill, Jackson Pollack, Thomas Cole, Andy Warhol, Whistler, Aaron Copeland, Nat King Cole, Bob Dylan,Jimi Hendrix. F Scott Fitzgerald, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, H. L. Mencken, Louie Armstrong, Noah Webster, W H Auden. Muddie Waters, BB King. Miles Davis . George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein...List making and or name dropping may not be cool. / Yet, Americans don't do it enough. / Without the likes of Noah Webster , world education would be far less inventive. Before America education was hardly thought of as a universal right.
Those most guilty of cutting American culture short: It is us./ We are a very innovative people , if only our media would tell us of our history. Considering the waste that is American radio and how our history is forgotten. Its enough to make one furious. If only we had a media thinking our past is worth telling, then we might remember our accomplishments./ And finally, how can we expect to recall our history when even our high schools pay it such short shrift.
Nice post, makes one think. I need some more time to think about what american culture really is to me before i answer.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:17 PM   #11
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Old 07-25-08, 05:22 PM   #12
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Old 07-25-08, 05:23 PM   #13
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Nice post, makes one think. I need some more time to think about what american culture really is to me before i answer.
Those names did not just pop into mind, I had to take a quick look at our bookshelves to name names. But American name dropping might be something that would restore a little national pride. How could I overlook Ansel Adams. there is a figure that should make us boast about the beauty of America./ How about the next Fourth of July. A cultural event I'd wish someone would host. A concert of Aaron Copeland's 'Fanfare for the Common Man," to be hosted in the rooftop courtyard of Ansel Adams museum in San Francisco. That need be a national event with fireworks and all.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:24 PM   #14
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Real, true American culture is what we and the rest of the world consider Pop culture.

We can rattle off a bunch of amazing places and incredible influences that have shaped our country, but when it comes down to it, our culture is based on what is popular. I wish I could say it wasn't, but it is.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:26 PM   #15
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Real, true American culture is what we and the rest of the world consider Pop culture.
I guess that makes me counter-culture.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:33 PM   #16
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It'd help to define "America", as well. The pair of continents? North America? South America? Central America? Or maybe a region within one of those, like Brazil, Canada, or the United States?

The Americas as a whole don't have one, unifying culture.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:36 PM   #17
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Just kidding. I'm not that pessimistic. Well, mostly not.
You used to be able to define American culture. It used to be that immigrants were coming to America to be "American." It had a tangible quality that they could describe. Now, it seems many are coming here to change America. My mother is Asian and my father is American (caucasian) which gives me a mostly Asian look and whenever someone asks me my nationality, I tell them I'm American. They usually then ask, "no, where are you from?" I say America.
I don't know how to define America today. America used to have an identity. It's become a very global world we live in rather than national.
I do know that there is still value in American music, fashion and many other countries choose to send their children here for education.

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Old 07-25-08, 05:53 PM   #18
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Real, true American culture is what we and the rest of the world consider Pop culture.

We can rattle off a bunch of amazing places and incredible influences that have shaped our country, but when it comes down to it, our culture is based on what is popular. I wish I could say it wasn't, but it is.
I have always thought pop music to be worth listening to. The reason, it must resignate with us or it would not be popular. And music is poetry, don't let anyone tell you it isn't. The music of Coldplay is a message of today's culture. For something innovative. listen to Coldplay's Politik or Clocks. Or Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah or Dance Me to the End of Love or Eva Caddidy's vocals. Modern culture is not all crap.
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Old 07-25-08, 05:57 PM   #19
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I guess that makes me counter-culture.
I am definitely with you. I am opposite just about everything our culture considers cool or hot. I am become modern caveman.



Why? Why a Colt, RexG? Couldn't you travel further with a full size horse?

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Old 07-25-08, 05:58 PM   #20
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Topical.
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Old 07-25-08, 07:05 PM   #21
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I have noticed one strange thing. A lot of Americans describe themselves as Irish, African, Italian, German etc. That is until they talk to someone that really is from Ireland, Africa, Italy, Germany and find out that those folks may acknowledge that there is an ancestry but for the most part we're all really Americans.
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Old 07-25-08, 07:47 PM   #22
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american culture
Oxymoron.
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Old 07-25-08, 08:02 PM   #23
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Oxymoron.
See cyclezealot's first post.

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I know it exists.Anyone ever encouraged you to visit the National Art Gallery and appreciate the landscapes of American painters./ Just like commerical aspects of Christmas has ruined Christmas for some; I am sure the same forces overshadow our American culture. When one thinks of culture. We have so many examples we could list. A huge list which I fear is too often forgotten. A few. John Philip Sousa, Woodie Guthrie,Carl Sandburg, Frost, Sinclair Lewis, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill, Jackson Pollack, Thomas Cole, Andy Warhol, Whistler, Aaron Copeland, Nat King Cole, Bob Dylan,Jimi Hendrix. F Scott Fitzgerald, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, H. L. Mencken, Louie Armstrong, Noah Webster, W H Auden. Muddie Waters, BB King. Miles Davis . George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein...List making and or name dropping may not be cool. / Yet, Americans don't do it enough. / Without the likes of Noah Webster , world education would be far less inventive. Before America education was hardly thought of as a universal right.
Those most guilty of cutting American culture short: It is us./ We are a very innovative people , if only our media would tell us of our history. Considering the waste that is American radio and how our history is forgotten. Its enough to make one furious. If only we had a media thinking our past is worth telling, then we might remember our accomplishments./ And finally, how can we expect to recall our history when even our high schools pay it such short shrift.
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Old 07-25-08, 08:17 PM   #24
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It'd help to define "America", as well. The pair of continents? North America? South America? Central America? Or maybe a region within one of those, like Brazil, Canada, or the United States?

The Americas as a whole don't have one, unifying culture.
I'm not sure I agree with this. We do have a common history of European conquest of indigenous populations and mass migration, both forced and voluntary. For the last two hundred years we've been struggling to create more egalitarian societies* out of that tragic, beautiful, conflicted history. Throughout the Americas, I think our culture is mostly the expression of the hybridities that have been born by that history. It looks, sounds, tastes a little different depending where you are, but jazz, samba, and rumba have a lot more in common than it might look like at first.


*well many have been struggling against that egalitarian push, but the fight has been real.
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Old 07-25-08, 08:31 PM   #25
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A mosaic consisting of a dash of everyone else's culture, add a couple guns, a few religious nuts, and some big cars. Then throw in an amazing ability to make it all work somehow, because when it comes down to it, that's what made us great.
Crash that is about as good a discription as I think any one could come up with agree 100%

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Everyone says Americans are arrogant. I think thats incorrect, i really think ignorant is a better word.
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Arrogant Manifest Destiny.
If it is so ****ing bad here there are flights leaving the U.S. everyday
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