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Thread: What I like/hate about American Culture

  1. #1
    Creepy-male

    Default What I like/hate about American Culture

    Let's see if you agree/disagree

    What I hate

    1950's America

    Phrases like "swell" and "gee-golly", going to the football game every friday, wearing a letter jacket, teenage fantasies of taking the blonde cheerleader to lover's lane, the proverbial science nerd with a pocket protector and comic book collections.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it had its cultural relevance in the 50's but these days I think it doesn't apply in the least. High school teens are no longer innocent kids coming into suburbia from the farms.

    Passion for science and poor social status don't have to be interconnected, why can't someone do science for a career and still be as smooth/sexy with women in their personal life, the only reason it's there is because it just so happened in the 1950's that people who did science also were socially inept, now it doesn't apply and I hate when people try to impose this on people -- be stupid and get chicks or be smart and a loser, no, how about be intelligent and sexy.

    Second the attitudes towards sex and school are much more jaded and cynical these days than in the 50's. Women aren't little innocent school girls in sweaters, they are nihilistic self-absorbed narcissistic whores who fuck and suck their way up the social ladder in the school system, sexuality is a key to popularity and not a rite of passage. No problems with sexuality here, just the fact that americans would like to think that we are still living in the 50's and teens are innocent youths exploring sexuality in some magnificently beautiful coming of age.... when in reality sally is giving handjobs to the line backer because she wants to get voted for class president. Why can't social status and sexuality be separate?

    Finally sporting events; ideally people should play sports for the love of the game, not because its some sacred ritual. Football, football, football, it's fine if you like football; but if you don't somehow you are less american. Who cares, sports are sports, play it for the love of the game.

    Bottomline 1950's culture applied for a short time in 1950's when america became modernized, overthrew hitler, came out of the farms and into the surburbs and built towns with a mainstreet with parades through them, but nowdays any cultural echoes of this area don't apply because americans aren't that innocent and naive anymore, and any attempts to replicate it just shits on society. Besides 1950's culture was categorized by naiveity, the dawn of modernisation, people could only see the joys of the modern world and not the pitfalls. It was soo great to have a lawn with green grass, not that everything looked plastic and mass produced.

    Material, Consumerist, Suburbanites

    The inevitable result of the modernisation of america. A culture which spirits is sustained by consumerism and not anything truely profound/meaningful/deep. Relationships and society is focused on material rewards. Women want daddy to buy them a car, a boyfriend to treat them like a princess, a husband to buy them a huge ass SUV they can drive around with 5000 GPS's and get fixed up at the nail salon by a bunch of asain chicks.

    Children are bitchy, vile, and unmotivated because they are raised by parents that give them material rewards for their success. Divorce rates are high because people marry before any real psychological compatibility exists. Middle aged parents go back to school. Assumptions like all kids go to college rule supreme. Obesity prevails. And its all tied by the common thread of materialism/consumerism/suburbanites.

    Things like sending kids to college is largely materially motivated with roots back to when parents paid kids for good grades. Helicopter parents are more common and the nihilistic youth is more interested in sex/drugs/escape than in their education or work. Largely they will deliver a unenthused "I'm doing it for the money" answer when asked why they are in a particular major.

    This is constantly driving postmodernism forward which has its potential pitfalls, but is a desparate reaction to the ultimate failure of the "dream" that was born in 1950's of a modern america. People need to let go of the materialist, consumerist, modern america and embrace change and build a better future for a cynical/jaded youth.

    Redblooded Militant Rednecks

    This one is nothing new, I just hate the idea of these people. The proverbial "AH-MERH-ICAH FUCK YEA" type. I mean you'll see below I mention individualism as a good thing, and I like individualism in american society, but this is individualisms dark and somewhat retarded twin.

    They constantly believe that someone they will be called to fight, or as they like to put it "kick some ass" in some way. Maybe its the socialist government coming to impose laws on them, maybe its niggers coming to rape their wife, maybe its aliens from mars, or maybe its just a girl scout asking them for cookies (which they somehow are capable of linking this to socialism/obama/elites). But they constantly believe they will need to kick some ass.

    Further they believe that when they kill all these government goons, niggers, aliens, or girl scouts people will reward and praise them for being a "badass" and "tough", when in reality they haven't thought about how dark it is to actually kill someone.

    They look at themselves as protectors of honest hardworking red blooded americans, but really they are just naive little boys who have no concept of conflict/fighting beyond what they see in movies, or they are aggressors who bully people rather than protect them.

    Which is what annoys me, real fighting isn't some play ground game, its extremely morally ambiguous and most often a result of tradegic circumstances, rather than the way things ideally should go. Ideally there should be peace and love, and the fact these type over-focus on conflict shows they are empty in their lifes and hold onto heroic fantasys to fill that void, and that is precisely what makes them anything but heros, its a false self and not the true self. It's tough guy narcissism and its common in america.

    Politically Correct Activists

    Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and now the 30 yr old career women down the street along with anyone else who can get a few markers and some posterboard to make a sign. Everyone is convinced that simply by holding up a sign with some words on it and shouting belligerently they will single handly shake the earth into supreme truth and justice, not by force of arms, but by an extremely loud megaphone.

    Nothing wrong with non-violence, ghandi and martin luther king did something new by affecting policy through civil disobiendance and protest... but now everyone uses this as recipe for change, when in reality it changes nothing. Further the human rights movements has spawned all sorts of hideous politically correct rules that when not followed explicit result in social faux pas.

    This creates a great divide between the violent redblooded americans and these people over the nature of issues such as racial and gender equality. People see the balant ridiculousness of these politically correct rules and revert back to ancient bigotted believes. It actually becomes counter productive.

    They also have a penchant for oversensitivity.... is it possible people say "fireman" just because thats what they are used to hearing and not because they hate women. Do they even bother asking why you say "fireman" instead of "firepersons". Do they really think changing a word is going to create better relationships between men and women in society? Who knows.... what is certain is that its best to never get into a debate with these types, someone long ago planted the seed of self-righteousness deep below the surface of their conscious.








    What I like

    To be continued.... I'll let the negative boil over before I get to the positive and maybe edit the above for some shitty grammar

    High minded Intellectual Debate/Speech

    Revolution

    Individualism

    Innovation/Pioneering Spirit

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    *I may not edit the likes if no one responds

    Not that I'm hoping that will get this thread traffic, just I want it on record why the thread is half complete if this thing falls to the bottom of the ocean and someone pulls it up with a search and reads it.

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    Wow, I have to disagree with you on most of this. Don't get me wrong, I think America needs more debates like this; they've gone to the wayside like so many other important early American precepts.

    Before I go any further, let me state where I'm coming from: I'm a 3rd generation American; I've traveled to countries on two other continents. I used to hate Americans, but now I just hate people in general.

    The 1950's: Much of what you're describing is stereotypes held by society. And, while stereotypes can be handicapping if used too stringently, they're usually backed by some truth. People haven't changed since the 1950s. Or the 1850s for that matter. We still have all the same cliques and social stigmas with new names.

    Materialism: People have always been like this. People are like this all over the world. Americans have the most money to spend on these things because it's still the worlds single largest producer of wealth, but this happens in every other country in the world (usually at the expense of an impoverished lower class who would do the same if given the opportunity).

    Militant Rednecks: These people used to swell the world's armies, dying blindly for a commander and not a cause. But the Business of War has largely been done away with, despite what the movies say. And it is in their nature (maybe in their blood, maybe in their type) to saber-rattle. A statistically relevant number of these people are highly intelligent and uneducated (or self-educated) and most of them react to social differences in line with the Uncanny Valley. Again, not a new or unusual phenomenon. America has a statically small amount of this activity going on. In other countries, including industrialized nations, this behavior is vastly more common. Interestingly, this same behavior generates PC Activists who claim the high ground in what they do.

    PC Activists: No argument there.

    I'm eager to hear what you have to say about the rest of it...but I generally consider those traits to be largely dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    "Militant rednecks" are something of a core necessity—when you don't have enough of them, a culture loses its warrior ethos and so dissipates the will to fight and defend itself (a good sample of middle-class sociopaths is needed too, as they often make better squad/small-unit leaders). Without a sufficient number of these people overall, the culture will eventually be conquered and forced into submission by one which retains a warrior ethos embedded in its archetype. So when little kids play war with each other or pitch battles between plastic army men, this is a characteristically good thing; the idealization of heroic violence is a cultural virtue that will help it persevere in times of armed struggle.
    Yeah, especially in a time when there is a solid chunk of the world's population that have mottos like "lots of sons, lots of guns" and raise their children chanting the virtues of suicide bombing.


    Also I'm not sure how 'high-minded intellectual debate' is a good thing, considering the proclivity such discussions have to devolve into postmodernist nonsense and other forms of academic mindrot; the PC activism you decry has been a direct spawn of this legacy. Unless you meant something else by that phrase.
    "Academic" discussion is fine as long as it isn't tainted by the tradition of well-wishing that spawns such nonsense. What do you think you're doing right now?
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeSeeCold View Post
    Where's the pinup wimminz?
    I know right?




    As for the OP, there is a nice documentary that is sort of related to this. I enjoyed it, you may also like it:


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    Thanks for the big list of complaints over things that are in no way exclusive to America.

    And I agree with Ashton about the irreplaceable necessity of gun-toting redneck badasses. Kentucky Fried Warriors may be paranoid, in some cases to the point of dementia, but their paranoia is directed at the right place: the government. And they've got the firepower and determination to withstand and resist any hostile occupation.

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    This is an intellectual debate.
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

  9. #9
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    Wow, I have to disagree with you on most of this.
    That's fine I didn't write this with high expectations for approval lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    I used to hate Americans, but now I just hate people in general.
    True, but I'm just examining one culture under the microscope that has people in it. By no means am I claiming the rest of the world is better, I'm just examining the pro/cons as far as I see them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    The 1950's: Much of what you're describing is stereotypes held by society. And, while stereotypes can be handicapping if used too stringently, they're usually backed by some truth. People haven't changed since the 1950s. Or the 1850s for that matter. We still have all the same cliques and social stigmas with new names.
    I don't think these stereotypes have "truth" to them because society has evolved since then into a different state. I see bringing some of those 50's stereotypes into more modern life as damaging because they are no longer true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    Materialism: People have always been like this. People are like this all over the world. Americans have the most money to spend on these things because it's still the worlds single largest producer of wealth, but this happens in every other country in the world (usually at the expense of an impoverished lower class who would do the same if given the opportunity).
    Yes I understand that materialism isn't exclusive to other countries, once again its human, but its currently a common and huge issue in american society because of a number of factors. Other nations while possessing materialistic people, do not have the wealth to let things get out of hand for most people.

    Besides I'm not trying to make a moral/ethical argument on the nature of people, my argument is more that material rewards in society are replacing other essential cultural values that used to exist. So I feel its a vapid/nihilistic form of materialism, that american culture remains unfulfilled in other areas beyond material possession.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    Militant Rednecks: These people used to swell the world's armies, dying blindly for a commander and not a cause. But the Business of War has largely been done away with, despite what the movies say. And it is in their nature (maybe in their blood, maybe in their type) to saber-rattle. A statistically relevant number of these people are highly intelligent and uneducated (or self-educated) and most of them react to social differences in line with the Uncanny Valley. Again, not a new or unusual phenomenon. America has a statically small amount of this activity going on. In other countries, including industrialized nations, this behavior is vastly more common. Interestingly, this same behavior generates PC Activists who claim the high ground in what they do.
    Yea, but still whether its a relatively small number or common globally or whatever, doesn't mean I like it. I think that type of person is basically just obsessed with the image of being a "tough guy" and isn't really tough. I don't think there is any problem with being tough, but its annoying when people act that way because of an image thing. And somehow that attitude has become linked to being "american" to some people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    I'm eager to hear what you have to say about the rest of it...but I generally consider those traits to be largely dead.
    Alright, but lol one thing you should keep in mind is context... because most of what I'll refer to in that section is contextual to history/zeitgeist and not just general morality.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    I think most of the stuff you mention here is nothing historically new nor unique to America.
    Actually I disagree, for example, materialism, while a global problem, manifests itself in american cultural in a contextually specific way. My goal is to understand how a certain discrete number of these "not-new, not-unique" things exist in america, and how they are part of the zeitgeist along with where that zeitgeist came from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    As far as I've always heard from my grandparents and parents who lived through that era or close to it, idyllic "1950s America" was just as big a myth then as it is now. The difference back then being only that people believed in it more, which caused a lot of problems to get swept under the rug—abusive spouses, child molestation, date rape, etc.—as people were more determined to believe such things 'didn't happen' (so in a Jungian sense, I suppose you could say that in some aspects there was greater collective denial of life's shadow).
    Yea well idyllic 1950s America is largely a romanticizing of a past era. "Gone with the wind" was a romanticizing of the Deep South. "Camelot" was a romanticizing of Medieval Justice/Knights. In reality the 50s was different than the movies, in reality the deep south was different than "gone with the wind", and in reality medieval knights were more thugs than chivalristic. However people would be dumb not to acknowledge that these idealizations of a particular era held some tiny seed of truth, that was played up to a romanticized point. That's how I see it.

    While 1950s America wasn't as idyllic as books and movies, largely there was maybe a tiny drop of a sort of idyllic element that people attempted to bring out and fade out the unpleasant aspects when making a movie/book.

    People do the opposite also and bring out the unpleasant aspects and fade out the idyllic ones of an era.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    "Militant rednecks" are something of a core necessity—when you don't have enough of them, a culture loses its warrior ethos
    I would agree, but I don't think "Militant rednecks" are a warrior ethos that I am personally proud of lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    and so dissipates the will to fight and defend itself (a good sample of middle-class sociopaths is needed too, as they often make better squad/small-unit leaders). Without a sufficient number of these people overall, the culture will eventually be conquered and forced into submission by one which retains a warrior ethos embedded in its archetype.
    Blah blah, I agree but what I said above... militant rednecks are not a good warrior ethos in my opinion. I mean are you bias on this argument... I could argue that gang violence in urban areas keep the warrior ethos alive. But somehow I'd guess on a visceral level you'd feel more opposed to that ethos than militant rednecks out of some personal bias. Because you see those people as the enemy and militant rednecks as the friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    So when little kids play war with each other or pitch battles between plastic army men, this is a characteristically good thing; the idealization of heroic violence is a cultural virtue that will help it persevere in times of armed struggle. The words of Prussian field marshall Helmuth von Moltke also apply here:

    "Eternal peace is a dream—and not even a beautiful one. War is part of God's world-order. Within it unfold the noblest virtues of men, courage and renunciation, loyalty to duty and readiness for sacrifice—at the hazard of one's life. Without war the world would sink into a swamp of materialism. Further, I wholly agree with the principle stated in the preface that the gradual progress in morality must also be reflected in the waging of war. But I go farther and believe that waging war in and of itself—not a codification of the law of war—may attain this goal."
    Yea well I still think your missing the point, I'm saying that if the world was perfect there would be no war. I don't think the world is perfect, so it is in the best interest to preserve the warrior ethos because there will be war, why? because the world isn't perfect.

    One this alone I could easily talk forever, I mean war for the sake of war is stupid, usually there is some cause behind it. You can agree/disagree with that cause, but your not fighting because eternal peace is an ugly dream, your fighting because of a cause.

    Eternal peace is only ugly when it means submission.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Also I'm not sure how 'high-minded intellectual debate' is a good thing, considering the proclivity such discussions have to devolve into postmodernist nonsense and other forms of academic mindrot; the PC activism you decry has been a direct spawn of this legacy. Unless you meant something else by that phrase.
    I mean the origins of the american system, congress ideally was supposed to debate issues out and develop laws. That entire zeitgeist which doesn't apply today. If you read historical documents a lot of thought was put into the architecture of our system and issues were discussed concerning society. Today this is pretty much dead imho, and things are much more vapid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Probably not here because women "are nihilistic self-absorbed narcissistic whores who fuck and suck their way up the social ladder," apparently.
    Not all women, I just didn't feel like putting a disclaimer in there because it weakens the position and takes time out.

    Obviously I don't think all women are that way, that statement isn't a generally philosophy but has to be taken strictly in context if you want to characterize my outlook correctly.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Right. When the means are available, people like to indulge in materialism and accumulate stuff. Dig up neolithic graves and you'll find aristocratic chieftains buried with all kinds of elaborate luxury goods. Nothing new here. The tendency is only more ubiquitously visible because the lower classes (in Western countries) can now live better, thanks to the industrial age and free-market capitalism, than the royalty of a mere 200-300 years ago.
    Once again I'm looking at how it applies in American culture and not aristrocratic chieftains from past eras and nations.

    I also don't think its purely because of the lower classes and I don't think our materialism is better now because is the "Working people" that 90% of people relate to and not the "royal elites"... in both cases I think its dumb.

    Once again I'm not commenting on class structures even, its the nihilistic effects american materialism has.

    Anyways if you want to talk class, I think ideally, I like the idea of lower class people having opportunity to work themselves up from rags to riches, like what happened in the early 20th century america. That's the ubiquitious "american dream", not sitting on an ATV sucking down McDonalds and bitching at obama cause your big screen TV got repo'd because you were too stoopid to balance your check book. Lol and I'm not about to support the "government" or the "upper class" in a time of economic need, that would be stupid, I'll just leave that out of the discussion unless you want to go there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timeless View Post
    I know right?


    SHES A NARCISSTIC WHORE!!!! BURN BURN BURN....

    nah I'm joking.... nice pic, I have a couple of photos of some ww2 planes with nose art of women.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timeless View Post
    As for the OP, there is a nice documentary that is sort of related to this. I enjoyed it, you may also like it:

    YouTube - Status Anxiety Pt. 1 (1 of 5)
    I'll check it out and see what I think

    Edit: Great Find, Just Started Watching it
    Last edited by male; 02-19-2011 at 01:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Thanks for the big list of complaints over things that are in no way exclusive to America.
    Your missing the point, I'm focusing on a particular culture.

    You are kind of showing your insecurity in talking about these issues, by focusing on how other countries do it also immediately, rather than focusing on the fact it happens here.

    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    And I agree with Ashton about the irreplaceable necessity of gun-toting redneck badasses. Kentucky Fried Warriors may be paranoid, in some cases to the point of dementia, but their paranoia is directed at the right place: the government. And they've got the firepower and determination to withstand and resist any hostile occupation.
    Alright that kind of warrior ethos gets misdirected at things like black people also, obama is black, they hate the government, its in southern culture.... wow potential for hate crimes, but I guess that's fine because if your white and you get occupied they'll be your friends.

    I wouldn't mind it if there warrior ethos was directed at important things, but its not imho, mostly its self-serving and bigoted, usually its more to defend their psychologically insecurities than it is in service of something useful. If I could see the use in it, in at least one instance, I'd probably change my mind, but also in my mind they wouldn't be in that category but immediately get moved to another, if they did something useful.

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    I've never lived in the USA, and I can tell you that 90% of what you've listed in your first post can be easily applied and seen everyday in my local culture, and I don't really remember anything being different 10 years ago. Sure, I believe some of these traits are particularly overblown in the US (ex. materialism leading to extreme workaholism, politically connected lobbies leading to skyrocketing healthcare and college tuition costs), but they're in no way exclusive.
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    @HaveLucidDreamz

    The reason I pointed out that most of your points apply to other cultures was not to say that they were invalid, but rather to view them with perspective against the backdrop that all Americans are first Human, and then members of a culture and a nation. I believe it is crucial to understanding American culture that one compare and contrast other groups of humans. For example, one can describe a building in excruciating detail, but real design improvements (and epiphanies about what can't be improved) are much more likely to come from comparing it to other buildings.

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    I think the 1950's were cool insofar as their build-up to the 1960's. I find the 1960's to be the most fascinating decade in American history. JFK, his brother Bobby, the Vietnam war, the Space Race, man on the Moon, the Beatles and the birth of rock 'n roll, the rise of the hippies, Woodstock, MLK assassination and the civil rights movement ("the culture wars") -- so much history packed into just one decade!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Sure, there will be different nuances as to how 'materialism' manifests in a contemporary American context, vs. say, an Ancient Greek context. Yet it's intellectually chic to portray materialism as a distinctly American epidemic… when it really isn't nor has it ever been. But that's not what you're doing, so cool.
    I agree, I think underlying it all is a distinctly human problem, rather than anything about Americans that makes them worse than other people. I think largely its a cultural problem and not a personal problem with the people. Culture is an abstract thing. Almost every historical culture has there problems, like say Victorian England, tons of people criticized problems in that era; the industrial revolutions, class based societies, and apathy towards poverty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Yeah. While over-idealization covered up too many blemishes, I'd agree that nowadays the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, and plunged many into the depths of a nihilistic morass too void of worthy ideals. Which has since ushered forth its own cascade of problems.
    My point was that portrayals in art sometimes zoom in and focus on particular aspects that are refined portraits of reality. Sometimes people want to zoom in and focus on the ideal and beautiful... other times people want to zoom in and focus on the ugly aspects. If a lot of people focus on one or the other and don't understand how that piece fits into direct reality they can easily be misled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    I'm probably interpreting the category more loosely than you'd intended lol.
    Probably, its hard to define a broad category of people without running across all sorts of problems. I'll elaborate below

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Well, generally the pro-military rednecks out there aren't the ones shooting up city blocks and killing each other over drug-trafficking distribution (though I'm well-aware this is routine for others in trailer park and rural suburb areas). So of course I don't see them as an 'enemy', since by and large they're not hurting anybody.
    I don't either... but there are certain aspects of that "culture" that spread into bad areas... racism, xenophobia, violent action against civilians, and so forth.

    I think the problem I have is that a lot of times it seems to be an act to act like a "tough guy" and it seems to contain a lot of hate towards things that make them insecure.

    Also remember, I'm from Texas so its a relatively "macho" place, so while there are some number of people that fit the masculine texas cowboy paradigm, there are a lot of fake "tough guys" and a lot of insecurities that you see.

    I'd probably have to put more thought into how to correctly say this, but its focused around a lot of the insecurities I see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Anyway. While you certainly don't need these sorts of people in particular to sustain a warrior ethos (they just happen to be doing it more), urban gang violence doesn't fulfill quite the same function because it can't be as easily harnessed. Nor is most of it esteemed as 'heroic'. Gangs will fight rival gangs in local turf wars to a limited extent, but its more difficult to convince them they should do the same on behalf of their country. Criminal tendencies don't make for a well-functioning, disciplined army either, and are prone to war crimes (for example, personnel for Nazi Germany's SS-Totenkopfverbande and Einsatzgruppen units were largely drawn from prisons).
    Lol the kkk is probably in support of the united states military.

    Also criminals have been traditionally used in warfare, in medieval warfare they had units of mercenaries. But the ethos of war was different, the mercenaries basically got freedom to steal from the enemy and rape in exchange for their service.

    There were also other things, like if you volunteered for a vanguard unit, I forget what it was called, but if you did, you'd be given freedom and status in the military after some time, and officers of these units would get promotions, mainly because the vanguard was the most dangerous place to be, but it also held some esteem the same way quarterbacks appreciate linemen from saving them from getting sacked.

    Edit: The name of the vanguard units were "Verlorene Haufe", sometimes called Forlorn hope.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forlorn_hope

    The french equivalent were called Les Enfants Perdus or The Lost Children

    Today criminals are not used in war, because largely the ethos is different, but regardless the US has had problems with criminals/gang members who enlist and then return to their neighborhoods with combat training.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Ahh okay, yeah I agree. It also occurs to me that rhetoric has unfortunately become something of a lost art by comparison. The speeches of most leaders now are wishy-washy and loosely ambiguous, with plausible deniability by design.
    Well not just leaders, but the rhetoric at large is most "I'm pro____ or I'm against ____" then a bunch of shouting. No one actually makes a case for anything, and its basically thought that no one will give a shit, because people make their minds up in 5 seconds on an issue. This is what people have been taught is correct form for politics, and people change their minds and political affiliation a lot. Mainly rhetoric is steered by the media and agreeing/disagreeing with a social current in the media.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    I like that idea too. But unfortunately we live in a heavily regulated market environment now compared to times past, that's made it increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs to do what they do best—create, innovate, and propagate ideas. It's relatively much harder now for the average person with a vision, to just simply get up and implement it. The many legal hurdles, regulatory hassles, taxes, and fees increase financial+psychological costs that raise barriers to entry and discourage entrepreneurs from undertaking the associated risks to enter a market. Eventually only large corporations remain who have the means to haggle with the burgeoning complexities of the system.
    Well it's not just the market environment... I just watched a documentary on sampling of music, apparently the level of regulation is ridiculous in that field too, everytime someone wants to sample a video or piece of music from the past, they have to clear it through a law office, even if it's a short sample of james brown going "uh" and pay extremely large amounts of royalties, some are off limits. So before a person can make a song, they must sit down and plan out what samples they want to use, and clear them with a lawyer, then usually pay several hundred/thousand dollars to record companies which own the rights.

    It's similar because its hard for a person with a musical creative vision to get up and implement it because of regulation.

  17. #17
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    but rather to view them with perspective against the backdrop that all Americans are first Human
    Yea I didn't think they weren't lol

    I mean I know people are human, but that doesn't make them perfect. I think people need to be exposed to criticism when there is a problem, whether that hurts their feelings or not, so long as that criticism is focused with the intention of movement towards prosperity. Pity is great, but it accomplish very little besides temporarily making you feel good until you realized nothing changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirnech View Post
    I believe it is crucial to understanding American culture that one compare and contrast other groups of humans. For example, one can describe a building in excruciating detail, but real design improvements (and epiphanies about what can't be improved) are much more likely to come from comparing it to other buildings.
    I think that is just one process... their is different forms of design, like reliability/safety/failure design focuses on analyzing things that could go wrong with a system and then developing fail-safes or measures to prevent them from occurring within practical limits. The whole thought process of that form of design focuses on considering the flaws and potential problems of one's design and how to best soften the consequences of these if correcting them is an unrealistic option.

    I mention that type of design because, its largely completely disconnected from analyzing real/better systems. It actually involves analyzing problematic systems and past failures and analyzing the weaknesses in your own design.

  18. #18
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    I think the 1950's were cool insofar as their build-up to the 1960's. I find the 1960's to be the most fascinating decade in American history. JFK, his brother Bobby, the Vietnam war, the Space Race, man on the Moon, the Beatles and the birth of rock 'n roll, the rise of the hippies, Woodstock, MLK assassination and the civil rights movement ("the culture wars") -- so much history packed into just one decade!
    Yea there is a lot I like about the 50's but I hate trying to layer what was culturally relevant then onto current reality.

  19. #19
    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    "Militant rednecks" are something of a core necessity—when you don't have enough of them, a culture loses its warrior ethos and so dissipates the will to fight and defend itself (a good sample of middle-class sociopaths is needed too, as they often make better squad/small-unit leaders). Without a sufficient number of these people overall, the culture will eventually be conquered and forced into submission by one which retains a warrior ethos embedded in its archetype. So when little kids play war with each other or pitch battles between plastic army men, this is a characteristically good thing; the idealization of heroic violence is a cultural virtue that will help it persevere in times of armed struggle. The words of Prussian field marshall Helmuth von Moltke also apply here:
    "Eternal peace is a dream—and not even a beautiful one. War is part of God's world-order. Within it unfold the noblest virtues of men, courage and renunciation, loyalty to duty and readiness for sacrifice—at the hazard of one's life. Without war the world would sink into a swamp of materialism. Further, I wholly agree with the principle stated in the preface that the gradual progress in morality must also be reflected in the waging of war. But I go farther and believe that waging war in and of itself—not a codification of the law of war—may attain this goal."
    I'm not sure militant rednecks are necessary nor do they represent the warrior ethos very well, they just often happen to be there and ready to fight and die. They are more like the slave soldiers and conscripted peasants then match any sort of warrior.

    If anything the elite warriors(special forces) are often sophisticated and urbane although militant and brutal.

    The Nazi's propagated a warrior mythos and also had high fashion uniforms.

    There are a lot of wannabe warriors in the redneck community for sure, but I'm not sure they got the brains or the fitness to perform in the army. Consider the obesity level of "redneck" America, they would get their fat ass shot the hell off.

    Discipline, intelligence, organization and good clerks and provisions characterize the best armies and I don't imagine that changing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    I like that idea too. But unfortunately we live in a heavily regulated market environment now compared to times past, that's made it increasingly difficult for entrepreneurs to do what they do best—create, innovate, and propagate ideas. It's relatively much harder now for the average person with a vision, to just simply get up and implement it. The many legal hurdles, regulatory hassles, taxes, and fees increase financial+psychological costs that raise barriers to entry and discourage entrepreneurs from undertaking the associated risks to enter a market. Eventually only large corporations remain who have the means to haggle with the burgeoning complexities of the system.
    It's pretty easy to start a small business in the US, there are regulatory and legal issues, but people who have the vision can still start many different types of small businesses. The competitive pressure from the corporations is pretty harsh and the economy of scale they bring to the market make it hard to succeed unless one is in a niche market, franchising, reselling(feeder fish for the big business big fish). Ultimately, regardless of the regulatory and legal pressures, one either have the guts to roll the dice and see what happens or one don't. The market is always very discouraging and difficult for entrepreneurs, that's why so many fail at it and I don't see that changing. In the US at least starting a small business and failing does not mean the total collapse of your life and livelihood, unlike other places where the social safety network does not exist. The law is friendly to small business in America, many immigrants from all parts of the world start small business and succeed in America. Koreans, Mexicans, Chinese, etc, etc, etc. Maybe it's because they're willing to work hard for shit wages and survive until they succeed.
    Last edited by mu4; 02-21-2011 at 10:32 PM.

  20. #20
    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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