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Reply Tue 30 Dec, 2008 06:17 pm
hello again,
I did state that this perspective was deeply flawed, all I was illustrating was a kind of starting block from which I view this subject, this is because I cannot give you my full opinion on it as I have not reached conclusion yet, it is also very likely I never will, I'm just stating where I'm at in relation to the subject at present. I have a lot of respect for America as the rest of the world also, it provided me with one heck of a bike frame for a start (santa cruz nomad ....lovely...& at least i have something without the made in china stamp lol).
Thankyou for the starbucks info though, Tea & free wifi .....there is a god Laughing
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 06:19 am
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 09:47 am
Catchabula wrote:
In my first post I did not say a lot indeed, but imho it did produce an interesting thread. My first text was all about emotions and even about morally dubious ones (there may indeed be a dash of xenophobia in them), but I can assure you these emotions are more than personal, they can almost be touched here in Flanders. These and all other emotions are relevant to philosophical investigation and I tried to rectify a few things in my second posting, rephrasing the whole thing by returning to good old Reason. JgWeed noted and appreciated that. Being cool and reasonable is mostly the best option, especially in such sticky and emotional matters. But one can and may never ignore the emotions and leave them out of sight, reasoning without noticing emotions just drawing a ghost.

As far as I am involved, my post (#17) is in regards to your first post, not the extrapolations from your responses of others. Not to seem disinterested, but I think we can both appreciate the separation in discourse.

Catchabula wrote:
So one can say "I am proud of my culture" or language or whatever, or one can say "I want to investigate the emotions / concepts / ideology concerning cultural pride and all of its related concepts / emotions", and this is arguably of some importance. If one answers one emotion with another nothing is said, nothing is discovered; there is just another senseless flame-war. I already tried to restate my initial posting into something that was philosophically more practical (or at least potentially), but some reactions were not really productive and to the point. There's something strange about talking in an emotional state, it not only diminishes the general quality of your own thinking but also that of others, and this condition spreads like wildfire. I would say: back to Socrates and not to the Sophists, and I wish to excuse myself if I was unclear, rhetoricaI and prejudiced. But I often can't help it, it's one of my main vices. But not many replies where sharp, objective and constructive analyses of everything involved here either. Yes we are all nice people, so let's stop this becoming some kind of football match where everybody looses. Let's boldly go somewhere, but not back to the start.
Catchabula wrote:
I also like hamburgers from time to time, but that's not the point. The point being that leaving cultural dispersion to itself, to the "free market mechanism" or to the "survival of the fittest", will bring along the marginalisation and endangering of "smaller" cultures, whatever be their value. And each culture has its value, even when they're a rare remnant of the Stone-Age. I definitely don't say that some cultures are inferior, particularly not the American one, but I do want to live my own culture and I experience that as increasingly difficult. Small cultures disappear world-wide, and indeed a single planetary culture is rising, and it is largely American. Am I really the only one who has some difficulty with that, who feels that this is at least an ambiguous development, that this could lead to some global impoverishment? Ok, I give up, I will surrender to that brave new planetary monolythic culture, after all it's just a matter of "lingua franca", nobody really loosing anything here. As long as we have some money we will be able to bye a flemish book in a flemish bookstore, there will be always some niche in that huge world-wide market. That bookshop may even survive thanks to the visits of American tourists, who are interested in our museums and culture and open themselves for it for a brief moment while on vacation. And some may even stay here in Flanders and bring in some investment. Who could ever object to the influx of foreign money? They surely don't do that in the Philippines.

I find it interesting to address your conception of the cultural diffusion. Is the diffusion of one particular culture into another necessarily a bad thing? I think you look at it in a current context without considering the long term effects it brings. Western culture (which you and I are both products of) are the result of such diffusion which you appear to oppose. Ancient Mycenaeans for example were influenced by a diffusion of Minoan culture, Mycenaean by Attic Greek, etc. Each culture indeed has its value as you ardently point out, but is it the case the Minoans and the Mycenaeans share the same stage with the Attic Greeks, the Hellenistic Greeks with the Romans, The Roman with the Persians, the Persians with the Ottoman Turks? All are a product of cultural diffusion. Suffice to say that the current culture you live in is a result of the diffusion of many others over the course of many manysurvives
Catchabula wrote:
(Rhetoric) As I said I like hamburgers too now, I didn't like them before but that was just a proof of my personal and irrelevant ideosyncrasis. There are tenths of hamburger joints here in G... now, some nearby and that's even very convenient. McD... bought several crumbling old houses in this town and rebuilt them into beautiful and hygienic hamburger joints. Who could ever feel bad about that? If it wasn't MacD... it would be a Nike, or Levi's Jeans, or whatever. At first I didn''t like the harsh lights of hamburger joints but lately I'm getting used to them. There is no cultural agression or imperialism involved here, these are notions without sense. We are evolving towards a global culture and I will be glad to join in. After all the winner is always right, and now I will shut up and try to learn something. "And yet it turns..."

(Quid Pro Quo)
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 02:44 pm
Hm, feeling a bit dizzy here with the wine of the New Year's Eve. It's a quiet New Year's Eve here at the Catchabula mansion. Not a big dinner (we had that on Christmas), but just bread, wine and fine cheeses, all with names like poems. Say aloud "Baron d'Arignac, Vin de Pays d'Oc" and have a taste, and you'll be in old Europe, en douce France, oder in Deutschland, or in Flanders' Fields. The cd is the Polish Psalter from 1580. I feel immense depths under me now, the depths of history, the depths of long-forgotten passions, and yet I want to do this exercise, this cleaning-up. Catcha made quite a mess of it again, mixing emotions with reasoning, creating bad poetry and even worse philosophy, and of course that was not the first time. Ok, I'm honored with mod's VideCorSpoons reply, and I will try to make the best of it, considering my personal limitations and the nature of the subject. I want to learn and to grow, I want to be an Advocatus Diaboli now, I want to get rid of my prejudices, or at least of some of them. In the future I will try to make a more dry, solid, substantial analysis; this old fart here must still have a little brains left. Let me start with a few questions to myself:

(My wife says I had enough wine... HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY !!! )

Oh, one more word about McDonalds. This is definitely not the best of examples if it comes to demonstrate cultural imperialism! They have no cultural intentions at all, it's just a multinational wanting to make a profit, and for that purpose they use their various assets, "imago" for example. You can either take or leave them and where-ever they go there is still an ample opportunity to avoid them. Same with so many other "invaders" here (not only American by the way): just companies trying to make some profit, making the rich richer and the poor poorer, and this is called world-wide capitalism. Oh yes, we in Flanders also ware t-shirts made in Indian sweat-shops, and in fact we are all guilty in the Western World; no opposition when it comes to exploit the poor of the Earth. But this kind of repression is economic by nature and not cultural. The more I think about it the more elusive and futile the notion of cultural imperialism becomes. It simply does not exist, it's just the result of ideology, or maybe some politically manipulated frustration. I was helping the manipulator by subscribing to his rhetoric, I was helping Hitler to destroy the Jews (nah, not really...). I am guilty indeed, but so are we all...

There must be more I wanted to say, but the bottle is almost empty and it seems I forgot. It takes a philosopher to spend your time with this kind of stuff at this particular moment. Have fun folks, and seeya all next year!

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