America has no culture?
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08-11-2014, 09:11 AM
America has no culture?
I was told today that the U.S. Has no culture and at first glance many might agree. But what is a culture if not the foods people eat,the clothes they wear, the stories they tell each other and the music they listen too?
I would argue that not only do America have a culture but they have probably the most influential culture in the world!
Almost everyone watches Hollywood movies (for better or for worse). American music is everywhere. American brands and styles have infiltrated the world. Who doesn't wear blue jeans? And food? How many countries don't have a McDonalds?
Some of the hoity-toity folks may not appreciate or recognize American culture and may even hate it but to deny its existance is frankly idiotic!
So the next time (if you're not American) you're scarfing down a Big Mac in your blue jeans while listening to the latest pop star with the walking dead on mute ask yourself if this is your culture.
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08-11-2014, 11:33 AM
RE: America has no culture?
Sounds like someone read too much Nietzsche... would complained in his time Germany had no culture... then wrote off anything that could of been considered of some outside or sub-cultural overhauling influence. Except for Wagner, that was about all German had as culture. Technically that was a brand new forming culture after years of Catholic/Christian rule and divide striking the land of anything unique existing in their land... even thought that still wasn't true, the old Gothic structures and Grim's Bros analogized folklore showed they were filled with culture as well.

I suppose around 1776-1830 You could also say America has no "Culture" as in a central culture of itself then. It was still a mix of foreign cultures and the Native's cultures but nothing really unified I would say... Not until mountaineer culture really became a staple in the nation did they have something wholly unique to America. I think that special regional cultures started to spring up there, and eventually a unified culture came to be; even though tons of subcultures linger as well. Of course, the things you mention and plenty more in the 20th century really embodied an American culture. You go around the world and see representations of American popularized icons, art styles, food, and so much more influence of culture.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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08-11-2014, 12:05 PM
RE: America has no culture?
(08-11-2014 09:11 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Who doesn't wear blue jeans? And food? How many countries don't have a McDonalds?

Blue Jeans are italian. Blue Jeans, from Fr. bleu de Gênes (blue of Genoa, an italian city).

I don't know what exactly they told you so I can't argue on that lol, but many things that you consider to be from the US (America is the continent), are borrowed from other cultures. Nothing bad with it, but that makes them non-native. This is true for all countries and cultures by the way, not just yours.

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08-11-2014, 12:47 PM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2014 12:55 PM by Drunkin Druid.)
RE: America has no culture?
(08-11-2014 12:05 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(08-11-2014 09:11 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Who doesn't wear blue jeans? And food? How many countries don't have a McDonalds?

Blue Jeans are italian. Blue Jeans, from Fr. bleu de Gênes (blue of Genoa, an italian city).

I don't know what exactly they told you so I can't argue on that lol, but many things that you consider to be from the US (America is the continent), are borrowed from other cultures. Nothing bad with it, but that makes them non-native. This is true for all countries and cultures by the way, not just yours.
The fabric may be Italian but the pants was invented in America by Jacob Davis a Russian and Levi Strauss a German.
I'm Canadian by the way...
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08-11-2014, 12:49 PM
RE: America has no culture?
Only totally isolated cultures don't borrow. When you have contacts, you have cultures taking from each other. It's unavoidable, but like I said, it's not a bad thing.

孤独 - The Out Crowd
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08-11-2014, 12:58 PM
RE: America has no culture?
But of course none of this means that these things aren't American or at least identified as American.
Hollywood? American.
Blues. Jazz. Rock n roll. Hip hop. All American.
Fast food. American.
Baseball hats. American.
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08-11-2014, 12:59 PM
RE: America has no culture?
America has a culture definitely.
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08-11-2014, 01:10 PM
RE: America has no culture?
(08-11-2014 12:47 PM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  The fabric may be Italian but the pants was invented in America by Jacob Davis a Russian and Levi Strauss a German.
I'm Canadian by the way...

Apparently they registered the patents after having added pockets, but they were already in use as clothes.

Anyway, I never said the US has no culture, of course it does. You have a lot of it. For example, native american culture is only american, isn't it?

孤独 - The Out Crowd
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08-11-2014, 01:13 PM
RE: America has no culture?
(08-11-2014 12:05 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(08-11-2014 09:11 AM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Who doesn't wear blue jeans? And food? How many countries don't have a McDonalds?

Blue Jeans are italian. Blue Jeans, from Fr. bleu de Gênes (blue of Genoa, an italian city).

I don't know what exactly they told you so I can't argue on that lol, but many things that you consider to be from the US (America is the continent), are borrowed from other cultures. Nothing bad with it, but that makes them non-native. This is true for all countries and cultures by the way, not just yours.

Actually denim (fabric)was invented in France.

By your account nothing is original to anyone.

Except maybe Jazz music which originated in the USA By American musicians and was completely new.


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08-11-2014, 01:21 PM
RE: America has no culture?
(08-11-2014 01:13 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Actually denim (fabric)was invented in France.

By your account nothing is original to anyone.

Except maybe Jazz music which originated in the USA By American musicians and was completely new.

Yes Denim is from "De Nimes". Apparently they were in competition with an italian city that produced the same (or similar) kind of cloth.

I don't think that's what I said anyways. I'm saying that sometimes countries have some things that have been borrowed. You can see an example of this in languages. We use a loanword from English to say "skyscraper", it's a calque. But many people don't even know it. Algebra comes from Arabic, for example.

I think a similar phenomenon happens with other cultural aspects. But not everything is borrowed.

Anyway, the OP was saying that US does have culture, and I agree. Big Grin

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