Uncategorized 14 Feb 2002 11:15 pm

Not to worry

Culture Magnet I didn’t think it was a barb :-).

Speaking of culture, I am still interested in this question, “Is Flash an American art, like jazz?” Seems like the first issue is what is an “American” art. Does it have to be produced by Americans? Does it have to reflect a part of our culture? Does it just have to be invented here first?

This makes me wonder about a bigger question, “Will globalization destroy the creation of new unique, indigenous arts?” I guess this has been discussed a lot before under the concern of homogenization of cultures.

I remember being a little kid and driving to see my grandparents on my mom’s side. It was always fascinating to go and see what kinds of music my aunt Nancy was listening to on the radio. Well, I don’t know if she was listening to it all the time, but I always turned on my transistor radio when we would get in range. I started tuning to a station that I am pretty sure she had been listening to one time we were down. I think it was FM105, in Owensboro. Very different rock than what we were listening to in Lexington.
It gave me the feeling that I was indeed far away. (2 hours is a long time in a car for a 7 year old). This other place not only took a long time to get to, they had another music that was a different dialect of what we had. What I remember listening to in Lexington was pop, oldies and some album oriented rock on FM. The other stuff had more of a country twang to it. I could be wrong. I just never remember recognizing any of the songs, even though it sounded like pop too.

At some point later when I would go back, I guess while I was in college, I would see kids dressed like little gangsters from MTV. These kids live in a town of what, — 8,000 people. Yet, no difference in appearance from kids in Louisville and Lexington. The two towns had become a lot more alike, and it looked like MTV. Blecchhh.

There are still tons of differences, but less and less each passing year so it seems. I like unique expression from peoples. I like that you can tell a general group from another. It represents a variation of response to the same set of stimuli that every human being has to deal with as they live life.

There are of course, huge fluctuations in available resources like money, education, healthcare, and clean food and water, and opportunity. I would like every group to have all the resources it needs to flourish. Then we would see each group’s expression evolve and be able to express the finer points of each’s perspective. It would be a much more interesting culture to live in if their were many thriving groups who individuated. Silicon Valley has a lot more of this than Kentucky did when I was there. it is great to work and hang out with people who have such different backgrounds and beliefs. In contrast, it always amuses me to fly home for the holidays. You change planes in St. Louis and everyone is either white or black. (That and you can smell the cigarette smoke as you walk up the ramp from the plane).

!!! wait, these are cultural differences between the 2 places !!!! Cool.

(Also, it is important to note, Kentucky gets a bad rap from people in a lot of other states. I am constantly impressed by people I have known from Kentucky and the things they have done. The more I am away from it, the more I can appreciate it. …….. :-). I didn’t mean it like that. I am serious. I am reminded of the good things about KY each time I go home and also each time I deal with some dweeb out here who has a phD in physics or rocks, sticks, and grass, yet can’t seem to hold a conversation or tie her shoes. Oops did I say “her”.

How about exhibiting some good old common sense people!!!! You might even be able to fix your own workstation problems if you just used some common sense. Oops. I am completely off-topic and no one who I know that might read this is even remotely an intended target of the “you” refered to above. Ughhm. Anyway, back onto a topic where we can make a positive contribution, I hope.

So, I am still thinking about this question of what is an American art, but I don’t feel much closer to an answer (not just because the rant :-). I hope though that the answer will help us to recognize and preserve that which is characteristic and unique among our origins and cultures even as we sit in the same traffic lines, watch the same tv, listen to the same music, and become subject to the same global concerns.
(Thank you, you can send campaign donations to … Sam the Eagle)

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