8 posts tagged with culture by MiguelCardoso.
Displaying 1 through 8 of 8.
Just How Influential Is America? Mark Rice-Oxley, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, argues that, 2000 years from now, Disney will probably be more remembered than Plato. Really? [More inside. Via Arts & Letters Daily.]
Take This Honour And Shove It Up Your Arse: Some, like JG Ballard and Benjamin Zephaniah, want the UK Honours System abolished; others want it reformed; diehards want it left as it is. The recent leaking of a distinguished list of refuseniks, coming just after Sir Mick Jagger got his ya-yas out in Buckingham Palace, reminds us of Groucho Marx's famous comment that he'd never join a club that would take members like him. It's certainly an archaic and complicated system but, it seems to me, no more open to abuse than other countries' systems. And, arguably, no less ridiculous or hypocritical either. But is it (symbolically, culturally, whatever) useful enough nowadays, simple political expediency apart, to be worth hanging on to?
Forget British. Define English. The perennial ex-pat and honorary Yank Christopher Hitchens may not be the best Englishman to define it - though his embarrassingly reactionary brother Peter is even less suited - but at least he has a go. For everyone else in the world, there are the Scottish, the Welsh, even the Northern Irish - all strong nationalities in their own right, each one older and more culturally solid than the slightly French, slightly German and slightly Dutch English. So why persist, in this post-imperialist day and age, in the myth of the Brit? If it is a myth. Americans, whether from the U.S. or Canada, certainly continue to buy into it. Or is it, for the rest of the world, too dangerous for the English - with devolution raging - to find their own, muddied identity? Think of those football hooligans and their grotesque politics, St.George face-masks and flags. (Via Arts And Letters Daily.)
The Song Is You: If ever there was a perfect singer - and I do mean perfect - it was Ella Fitzgerald. Her Songbooks (please scroll down for the listings and samples) are still - and will always be - the best collection there is of the great American standards. That is, if you don't mind crying and having the little hairs on the nape of your neck stand up and revolt. And swing. They'd be the last
records objects I'd be willing to part with: they're the mother's milk of American Western popular culture. So imagine my surprise when I found their perfect counterpart on the Web: the best-ever collection of lyrics to the songs of the greatest American composers: Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Richard Rodgers. Admirably, the compiler has gone way beyond his duty and included wonderful standards (quite a few unknown to me) that even Ella never got around to singing. Thank you, Todd. And God bless you, Sir!
You Like The Decoration? Thank The Goddam Dog. To what extent is the organization and decoration of your home dictated and orchestrated by your pet? And would you have it any other way, no matter how repressed you might be at the moment?
Does Beer Really Equal Democracy Equal The U.S.A? Max Rudin's somewhat wild assumptions only make this article of his more interesting. But is it true that beer in North America overtakes all the usual class, status and income boundaries? If so, it certainly sets it apart from Europe, where all the old preconceptions and habits still prevail and (at least in the Southwest) a glass of wine is always cheaper than a beer. So I guess the question here is: just how political can beer be? [As a chaser, the British expert Michael Jackson's list of the ten great beers of America seems authoritative and tempting, if a tad disloyal to the cask-conditioned real, live ales of England and Scotland...].
The Sunday Funday Blues: This is supposed to be on of the worst Nintendo games ever. Heh. No wonder. Yet it seems appropriate. As does Storman' Norman's Sunday Blues radio programme. What is it about Sundays anyway? And what's the best way to survive them? What are the local traditions? Here in Portugal, it's the Sunday papers; not going to Church; feeling guilty; drinking too many Bloody Marys; late, enormous lunches; lazy love-making, listening to football on the radio and naps...