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"Cultural Collapse"

 
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jbartas
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 133
Location: Cupertino, California, U.S. of A!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:01 am    Post subject: "Cultural Collapse" Reply with quote

I'll rephrase my complaint with Will's "Cultural Collapse" meme to indicate what I have in mind for this "Old Meme" section. I hope others will pitch in and give me more ideas for good verbal ammo to use whenever I hear hear this deceitful phrase. Or suggest other Memes that deserve to wither in the light of truth. -JB-

I recently caught "Cultural Collapse" in a Column http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/12/AR2005091201260.html
by George F. Will. As soon as I saw the words, I knew exactly what he meant - that American Culture had disintegrated, fallen apart and was somehow much less than is once was. It brings to mind Gay marriage, Legal Abortion, Crack houses and Bill Clinton. I understood it as fast as I would have understood "Boogie Man" or "Armageddon".

The idea that our culture has collapsed is IMO totally bogus. Personal computers, the Internet, modern medicine, universal literacy, and widest distribution of arts & music in human history make modern American Culture quite robust. Maybe Mr. Will is referring to social culture like Divorce, Poverty, Drug abuse, or even Obesity. But all these problems are most evident in the "Red states" where Mr. Will finds his biggest audience. I doubt Mr Will intended "Cultural Collapse" to describe his political supporters.

Just what bygone "pre-collapse" era would Mr. Will take us back to? The 1960s? A lot of us enjoyed the pot smoking and free love, but Vietnam and the Civil rights demonstrations were a lot of work. I don't want to repeat that.

How about the 50s? I could handle McCarthyism, Red baiting, Duck & Cover drills, but "Do-Wop" music would get old fast.

Maybe the 40s? It might be fun to fight the Axis and Nuke Japan again, but starting another cold war while simultaineously trying to convince the Black people we should go back to "Jim Crow" laws seems like a long shot.

30s? Great depression. Breadlines. 20s? Prohibition, Organized Crime and corrupt cops. No, as I go back through American History, I just become more conviced that there's no time like the present.

Mr. Will's meme-slinging the idea of "Cultural Collapse" should not go unnoticed and unchallenged. Has anyone else got some good taking points about why this Meme is just anti-American right wing brainwashing?


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KimCooper



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kindof agree with cultural collapse -- the era I'd like to go back to is about 1998. Smile

I spoke to a Conservative recently and I said that I agreed with the conservatives that we are having a moral crisis but that I thought it was caused by the conservatives not the progressives. He looked shocked-- had never heard that before.
I proceeded to explain that the difference is that conservatives have an external conscience while progressives have an internal conscience -- for example, we will stop at a red light even if there is no one around. He agreed with me at that point. Apparently that coincided with his experience.


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jbartas
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 133
Location: Cupertino, California, U.S. of A!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:12 am    Post subject: Cultural collapse is real Reply with quote

Well, that explains why so many conservative towns (San Diego) have ticket cameras on the traffic lights.

I agree that we have collapsed a bit since 1998. Back then the budget was balanced, the nation was at peace, the crime rate was the lowest in decades, our Constitution was intact, and we were gaining ground on pollution. All that's gone to heck since 2000.

Gosh, that must be what G. F. Will's talking about....I'll fire off a letter to the local paper.


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tcanfield



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I hear the term "Culture Collapse", I am reminded of a scene in the opening of the film "The Witches of Eastwick." The high school principal, Walter Neff, gives a long-winded speech, referring to a decline in moral values. Yet, this same character spends his time sexually harrassing the teachers in his school. (Check out his classic "goosing" of Susan Sarandon.)My point is that the same boring speech could be given today by the same sort of hypocritical moralist, and right-wingers out there would still eat it up. It is an on-going mantra for conservatives that the culture is collapsing. Remember when Mick Jagger was considered to be a force for evil?
Back in the 1920's, it was thought that "Negro Music" (jazz) was going to cause a cultural collapse. Even back in the 1780's, it was complained that "the Waltz" was going to lead to cultural collapse. In a sense, any new innovation leads to a mini-cultural collapse, because it knocks down the walls of prejudice raised by neanderthals like George Will.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:43 pm    Post subject: Imagine Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, that explains why so many conservative towns (San Diego) have ticket cameras on the traffic lights.


:X Now imagine if the world was like that.:I


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tcanfield



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:50 pm    Post subject: Cameras on traffic signals Reply with quote

Well, if the whole world was like that, then every local police department would be bringing in enough money to fund the town government, and maybe the state police budget at well.


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KimCooper



Joined: 08 Oct 2005
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Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, what they mean by cultural collapse is that their old ways are collapsing to make way for the new ways -- i.e. change is happening. What needs to be determined is whether the change in question is good or bad -- are we throwing out the baby with the bathwater or are we sweeping clean with a new broom?
maybe it isn't really collapse so much as it's -- origami! The culture changes shape but retains its integrity.
Now, no matter how they drag their feet, change is inevitable. Some feet dragging is probably good, but too much is deadly.
I still think that most of the changes that most people deplore are caused by the Right rather than the Left: Violence is caused by a whole litany of things including: strict father morality, lack of empathy, lack of economic hope, great disparity between haves and have-nots, unrestrained violence in media -- all brought to you by The Right. Sexual Immoralityand Perversion are primarily caused by sexual repression, guilt, abuse, forbiddenness, ignorance, etc. --again, all brought to you by The Religious Right. Materialism is caused by unrestrained media advertisment, market forces that pay performers and entertainers more than anyone else and often pay a premium for looks, and religions that tell people that the rich are more virtuous than the poor or they wouldn't be rich. Again, brought to you by the Religious (Calvinism) and Secular Right and Neo-cons and their classism and Religious Capitalism.
So, would "Cultural Origami" be of any use?
Or just "Yes, it's collapsing and it's your fault!"? Smile Because we can prove it -- yes, folks, there are studies that show a good liberal "Nurturant Parent" upbringing usually results in a more compassionate, responsible, well-balanced, moral person.


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