Day By Day

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lileks on America's Universal Culture

Lileks has a nice piece on the interpenetration of cultural forms and America's unique role in the process, and why we shouldn't take UN efforts to preserve cultures too seriously.
American culture is far more diverse than the products of the nations it purportedly corrupts. “The Matrix” was a synthesis of innumerable Hong Kong wire-fu movies. Recent Hollywood horror movies borrow heavily from Japanese ghost movies. HBO’s brilliant “Rome” is about, well, Rome, shot in Italy. Musically, there’s not a culture we haven’t pillaged, dissected, broken into digestible bits and recycled, except perhaps for 15th century Aboriginal didgeridoo tunes. But give us time.

American culture is eventually world culture, and vice versa. Brittle cultures don’t handle it well. Adaptive cultures absorb and adapt–the point of multiculturalism, no?
Read the whole thing here.

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