Pursuit of Truthiness

my gut tells me I know economics

American Culture, Global Poor Taste

with 3 comments

I’ve always heard that people all over the world love our culture, and hate us for our foreign policy; the implication when people say this is usually something like ‘the rest of the world is right; our foreign policy is terrible and our culture is great’.

I’ve always thought that American foreign policy, in spite of its very numerous shortcomings, rarely deserves the sort of rich, deep hate people manage so often to conjure up about it.

But I had also believed that American culture was as great as the rest of the world is supposed to think it is.

In a way this is true; there are many wonderful facets of our culture, truly great music and literature and film.

Unfortunately, these aren’t the things that other people love about our culture.  They like films that speak the universal languages of sex and big explosions.  They love celebrities.

Most of all, they like club music.

I’ve heard more American hip-hop and rap in a month and a half around French teenagers than I did in two years in college in the US.

It’s as if the rest of the world can only reach the golden streets of American culture by crawling though or gutters.


Written by James Bailey

October 11, 2007 at 10:14 am

3 Responses

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  1. Insert cliche here about one man’s trash being another man’s treasure. ^_^


    October 13, 2007 at 11:25 am

  2. Strange; I always thought the distinguishing character of American culture is precisely our lack of culture. Although thinking about it now, I imagine this might be symptomatic of anyone who has never had sustained interaction with other cultures.

    I’m curious: Do they have American-cuisine restaurants in France?


    November 5, 2007 at 7:13 pm

  3. Of course- there’s Mac Do of course, but also some mom and pop American restaurants, as well as plenty of “American food” available in grocery stores- burgers, hot dogs, coke, et c.
    Every sandwich place offers an “American” sandwich, usually the most expensive one on the menu.


    November 7, 2007 at 1:44 pm

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