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Old 08-18-2014, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
23,859 posts, read 29,913,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
And yet still the 50ies and the 60ies had some inspirational vibe to it and America was coming across as an interesting place; different from Europe, obviously, yet inspirational in its own right.
Let me tell you some strange thing; for example for the reason discussed in this thread, I am not interested in American males.
I mean people ( and men in this respect) are reflection of their history and culture, and since I find American culture to be bland, I find men to be bland. I mean I watch the movies ( here and there) I look at the pop culture and for long- long time already, and it looks to me very uninspiring. ( Including all men in that culture as I've already mentioned.)
However if I "go back in time," - say like to the beginning to the mid of the previous century, I find American culture to be on par with Europeans - I mean still different, yet again interesting in its own right.
And same goes to American men.
So what the heck happened down the line?
Not sure if this is what you meant but the truth is we also don't have the élites that we used to. Being élite today is often all about having money and not about what you know or have to say that might be even remotely interesting to other people.

So you have people with master's degrees from prestigious universities who make multiple six-figure salaries and who think Beethoven is a funny dog and Dante Alighieri played quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.

Note that the phenom is not at all limited to the U.S. and Canada. It's surprising these days how many Europeans you can meet who appear to be élite people but who are in fact total rubes incapable of having anything remotely close to an intelligent conversation about the wider world.

It's more striking on this side of the Atlantic I would tend to agree, but I suspect it might simply because it's just slightly more further along here.

It does not appear that Europe will escape the trend.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:25 PM
 
4,035 posts, read 4,130,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwindsforever View Post
Let's not forget the Buffalos who were slaughtered and left on the prairies to rot, along with a few natives.
Well, if you want to get down and dirty (which I would say is off-topic), let's not forget the Baltic-speaking Prussians, who were ethnically-cleansed from their homeland, their language outlawed, all for the crime of resisting Christianization. At least Poland didn't try to kill them off, and Lithuania took in those who managed to escape the German side, but the Germans weren't so nice.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Helsinki, Finland
5,473 posts, read 10,034,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Could you stop using the words 'in the US', when you are actually describing your Atlanta suburbs.

I've never experienced any of that in the cities I lived - Detroit, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Minneapolis, etc.

The U.S. is way more than just the 5 squared kilometers around your house.
They are now planning, or in the process to demolish most of the historical Brush Park district on the north side.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
14,462 posts, read 10,134,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbiePoster View Post
I'm too young for the Cold War to cross my mind, lol. I was thinking more of some of the Germanic cultures, where conformity is important, and young people don't feel free to cut loose and have crazy fun.
LOL. You obviously haven't partied in Berlin.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
14,462 posts, read 10,134,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
You are being very unreasonable. Many European cities were established in the 6th Century. The United States was discovered in 1492. What do you expect? Medieval castles in Montgomery, Alabama?
If the 1492 date is to mean Christopher Columbus, back to school you go. The closest he got to what is now the US was this

Columbus, Christopher: Columbus's voyages --*Kids Encyclopedia | Children's Homework Help | Kids Online Dictionary | Britannica
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:43 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
85,930 posts, read 79,112,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Are you sure that the "car culture" was created only in the 50ies?
"Suburban culture" - that is a yes, that I can understand, and yet... Even in the 60ies America still makes an impression of inspiring place (even with those suburbs already "in action,") but as I've said, it seems like after the 70ies something is gone, something is missing.
Yes. That was when the auto industry teamed up with the oil industry and the highway lobby to buy up transit systems in major cities (that was when public transit disappeared from LA completely), and got rid of trolleys (трамвай), trolleybuses and commuter train systems, replacing them with gasoline-powered buses. They cut back on the number of routes and frequency of service, and began pushing the idea of private cars as more desirable and somehow more efficient than public transport. Eventually they were sued in court for destroying public transport systems, but received only a slap on the wrist, and were not required to replace what they'd destroyed.

At the same time, there was a World's Fair in the US, where these industries hosted a big exposition, demonstrating how an expanded freeway system that reached into downtowns would be so convenient for people going to work or going shopping in city centers. It was a huge propaganda campaign to sell Americans on the need for family cars. And it worked.

And your "homogenization" observation is correct, too. Corporations have extended their reach, and now, as you can see, so many stores and restaurants belong to national chains, and small, locally-owned businesses are fewer and fewer. This adversely affects local economies, because profits are sucked out and go to the corporation, instead of being recirculated locally.

There are places that have bucked this trend by passing local ordinances banning businesses that aren't locally-owned, and by instituting rent control for commercial buildings, so that corporations can't drive rents up by offering landlords 50% more rent than any small local business could pay.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:44 PM
 
18,311 posts, read 15,373,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricS39 View Post
My point is that there is some ingredient that is missing from US.

Facts to support it can be found in where you find the best chocolate, the best food, the quality of life index, Olympic skills, heaithcare, human happiness level, access to recreational activity per capita, etc...these are the facts and you can find plenty of online links on a google search to support what I'm saying

All higher in Western Europe. I want to point it out so we can make America better so that is my point.

I want America to make
healthier tasty foods,
better public transportation,
more creative construction projects
have an atom-smasher like the Swiss have,
create from scratch the high/speed trains the Chinese have that the Germans engineered,
have better universal healthcare system,
have more tolerance to modern art and paint buildings different colors like the Danes and Norwegians do,
have more town commons for the Greek style theatre and free speech corners for all, more genres to be enjoyed thsn plain ole top 40,
Have GM and ford do what the Germans do with their mega indoor automobile factories
Have the folksy places like you have on the Danube River
Have more choices of political party like the Dutch have
And last but not least.....a USA more like Europe where spirituality and evangelism are not interchangeable words ...25% of US science teachers believe dinosaurs roamed the world alongside human species

America can do better and if we can't do this then I feel the US is not truly where I want it to be . It's not like America is enriched to the point we steer our nation...instead it's like a monarchy that colludes with corporations that dumb us down to see the same things over and over again and then people just point to what they see and this is how the real voting democratic system works and I don't like it

Personal theory is the lack of US meeting the criteria listed above is due to limited inspiration in our suburban lifestyle that I beg to differ with the other European poster, are prevalent in European towns and not in most US suburbs because of too much corporate beaurocratic power that has made it impossible for individual free speech to stand a chance
Now let me try to comment on this here and there as I go...

Quote:
I want America to make
healthier tasty foods,
I am not sure is "healthier" equals "tasty" to begin with? If yes, then let's just even look at such simple thing as European cheese ( they are all actually equally good - be that French or German or Danish.)
American cheeses are worse ( all of them,) they are more bland and void of taste and flavor comparably to European ones. It seems that the reason behind it is that American cheeses are more processed, and probably because the type of bacteria that's used to produced European cheeses is simply not allowed in the US. Another thing I can guess, Europeans make their food in smaller batches, may be, which again wouldn't be agreeable to the US corporations I think. Same goes to meat products - they seem to be far more "processed" and suitable for "mass production," probably longer "shelf life" ( being transported all over the US) and so on, which, in its turn deprives the products of taste and flavor, making it bland.
So how do you fix it? Make companies that produce them smaller? Stick to the old world recipes (that probably require more time and effort for production)? But that means the rise of price on food AND less profits to food/distribution corporations. Don't think it's going to fly in the US, where things (including production of food) are set in the most effective manner in terms of making profits and ( probably) concentrating them in fewer and fewer hands.

Quote:
better public transportation,
Oh, but you can't do that by definition, because America is planned differently comparably to European cities. With its downtowns ( where people travel to work) and suburban areas ( where people live) the idea of truly functional system of public transportation becomes obsolete. Unlike in European cities, that are built block by block, where people both work and live. There of course public transportation makes a lot of sense, since it can easily connect practically all the points of destinations.

Quote:
"have an atom-smasher like the Swiss have,
create from scratch the high/speed trains the Chinese have that the Germans engineered,"
Don't know what "atom-smasher" is, but as far as "high speed trains" go, I'm sure American engineers could have come up with something like this, but this will hurt the interests of automotive corporations. And car sales. So again - not a viable option.

Quote:
have better universal healthcare system,
Oh but the profits, what are they going to do with all those profits lost in healthcare system by insurance companies?

Quote:
have more tolerance to modern art and paint buildings different colors like the Danes and Norwegians do,
Then you'd probably have to have Danish and Norwegian designers with their eye and taste, no?
Besides, I suspect that the buildings are torn down in the US more often than in Europe, because... well, the new project always brings more money in for...well, all kinds of corporations))))

Quote:
have more town commons for the Greek style theatre and free speech corners for all, more genres to be enjoyed thsn plain ole top 40,
Well then you need to have a lot of artistic people who know how to perform well ( same goes to painters, musicians - you name it,) and people who are willing to be engaged; to listen, to attend such events and so on. Does America have those in great numbers?

Quote:
Have GM and ford do what the Germans do with their mega indoor automobile factories
But Italians don't do what Germans do, and neither do Greeks.
See what I mean? You have to be a German, in order to do things German way.


Quote:
And last but not least.....a USA more like Europe where spirituality and evangelism are not interchangeable words ...
Hmmm... And that's probably the most important thing of them all.
How do you breath spirituality in people (other than Evangelism) that's NOT THERE?
Because I agree with this observation of yours, and that's probably the main difference between the US and Europe. ( Actually now when I think about, not only Europe, but all those other places in the Old world; the spirit is there just fine, it's just not the kind of spirit that one might find particularly appealing, yet it's there all right.)

Last edited by erasure; 08-18-2014 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:51 PM
 
18,311 posts, read 15,373,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Better than Nazi concentration camps..

Not like it matters, considering most of us here are probably 20 somethings who were lucky enough not to experience the dark past of our planet.
No it matters, because what sometimes is lost in observations, is that "spirit" is not "one-dimensional" thing; it often comes with good, the bad and the ugly - not just "poetry and music and architecture" that "spiritual nations" are capable to create. These abilities come with the "other side" of Europe - the wars, the inquisitions, and - yes, camps, ( be that concentration of labor camps.)
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Helsinki, Finland
5,473 posts, read 10,034,331 times
Reputation: 2411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
You are being very unreasonable. Many European cities were established in the 6th Century. The United States was discovered in 1492. What do you expect? Medieval castles in Montgomery, Alabama?
There's a confederate memorial down there.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:53 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
85,930 posts, read 79,112,132 times
Reputation: 88165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
You are being very unreasonable. Many European cities were established in the 6th Century. The United States was discovered in 1492. What do you expect? Medieval castles in Montgomery, Alabama?
Well, this is exactly it. The Americas are a very different world from Europe. The old architecture here is represented by pyramids and ceremonial ball courts in Mexico and Central America, the monumental pre-Columbian architecture of ancient tribes in Arizona and New Mexico (the first people to invent multi-storied "apartment buildings", some still standing), and monumental mounds that altered landscapes throughout the mid-West. Historic architecture also includes the tribal roundhouses in northern California, made from redwood planks (some house museums), and the huge longhouses and totem poles of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, with their distinct art forms.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to expect one continent to resemble another. Better to appreciate the unique features of each. All of it contributes to humanity's rich legacy. The OP would do well to educate himself about his home country before writing it off completely.
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