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Was reading a talkback on the issue of tropes people find offensive. The exotification of non-western cultures came up, and somebody said it was a nastybad, terrible thing... well, awful unless the "exotic" culture was shown as being more advanced, morally superior, etc... to the west, in which case it wasn't a sin.

 

I always wonder what fuels people who find their culture so shamey and loathesome. Or am I wrong? Are we that bad? OMG

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Was reading a talkback on the issue of tropes people find offensive. The exotification of non-western cultures came up, and somebody said it was a nastybad, terrible thing... well, awful unless the "exotic" culture was shown as being more advanced, morally superior, etc... to the west, in which case it wasn't a sin.

 

I always wonder what fuels people who find their culture so shamey and loathesome. Or am I wrong? Are we that bad? OMG

It's vicarious self hatred. This passage best explains it all:

 

From Chapter 10: SEVERAL COMPELLING ARGUMENTS FOR THE ENSLAVEMENT OF ALL WHITE LIBERALS

 

Ideologically, the Guilty White Male is down with the program; materially, he's still a filthy-rich imperialist Yankee hyena. His "shame of being white" is more a sort of cutesy atavistic role-playing than anything tangible. He'll write soppy-wet articles about the homeless, but he won't offer his spare bedroom. He's tortured with guilt about his relative leisure and affluence compared to most indigenous peoples worldwide, yet he's not quick to pawn his cozy condo and Pentium chip in order to air-drop corn meal to the starving Pakistani peasantry. He's outraged about the oppression of blacks, but he isn't moving into the black slums, at least not this year. He feels terrible that the land was stolen from the Indians, but it doesn't appear as if he's giving it back anytime soon.

 

Why doesn't Mr. Multicultural give all his cool toys back to the Injuns? Because that would release him from guilt, and he likes to live in guilt. His guilt serves a definite psychological purpose for him, and he wouldn't ever want to get rid of it. The Guilty White Male takes pride in his own shame. But guilt only serves the guilty. Ever wonder why comfy urban white liberals feel such guilt about history and rural rednecks don't? The white liberal's guilt pangs have little to do with noble contrition; his guilt reflects an uncomfortable sense of his place in the historical order. If he feels so guilty...well, maybe he should. Maybe his guilt is real. Maybe that's why rednecks and blacks feel no guilt, while white liberals are stricken with it.

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From what I've read people seem to dismiss what we've accomplished, and I find that kinda weird. Maybe it's liberal white guilt. If so that's just sad.

 

There's something about western mojo that drives the world. It started with the Greeks, then it went to the Romans. After the Dark Ages hiccup France and England got their shit together and set the for the world we have today (Germans, too).

 

Best theory I've read goes back to my favorite subject, the Indo Europeans. Theory goes that while Egypt and the Sumerians were busy farming the Indos were busy expanding their culture. There can be no doubt they were successful when you consider the fact that 3.5 billion people speak their language today.

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Quite honestly, I find eastern culture to be a complete snore. No idea why, I just find it very uninteresting.

You find samurai and ninjas uninteresting? Wow. Ive been interested in them since I was like eight years old.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are about as interested as I get. Hey, it was the late 80s.
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Southern culture is the only one I find offensive

I've lived in the south my whole life and I just don't get it. The NASCAR bit, the college football thing, general redneckery, etc.

 

Most of my good friends are actually from the north. I've never been able to fully embrace southern culture.

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Southern culture is the only one I find offensive

I've lived in the south my whole life and I just don't get it. The NASCAR bit, the college football thing, general redneckery, etc.

 

Most of my good friends are actually from the north. I've never been able to fully embrace southern culture.

I was being a little flip-- I am friends with several people from the south-- but yeah, there is a culture of prideful ignorance and interest in things most trashy that I just don't get.

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My gf is from Pittsburgh, and she constantly feels left out. I keep telling her that's why she's awesome. No bleached blond hair+ no fake tan +being a real person = me like you.

 

The southern hospitality thing is a myth. There is a deep rooted insecurity that keeps backasswardness alive down here, and it's annoying.

 

Then again we never have to shovel snow.

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i rather enjoyed my Asiatic History classes but it included more than Japan and China - I got learning in Indian and Russian history and culture as well. Chinese cuisine is like a history lesson in itself. But current pop culture that is being embraced by Japan is not my cup of tea.

 

Also, the South is where all NE's retire because it's still the cheapest place in the country to live on retirement. So I feel over the years that some Southern culture is being supplanted by a kind of New England mentality.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

i rather enjoyed my Asiatic History classes but it included more than Japan and China - I got learning in Indian and Russian history and culture as well. Chinese cuisine is like a history lesson in itself. But current pop culture that is being embraced by Japan is not my cup of tea.

 

Also, the South is where all NE's retire because it's still the cheapest place in the country to live on retirement. So I feel over the years that some Southern culture is being supplanted by a kind of New England mentality.

I agree. I have studied Japanese and Chinese history, and read about Thailand, India, and Korea, and found it all interesting, as is the food from each.

 

As for Southern culture being supplanted by NE transplants, I think with technology and media, there is an increasingly homogeonous US society. It's less about North, South, East, West, and more about rural vs urban. Rural is rural, and there really isnt much that separates rural south from Pennsyltucky, culturally.

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My theory about northern migration to the south is simple: Air conditioning. I can't imagine what it was like, but both of my parents tell me that as kids they had to get by with fans during hot 100 degree+ summer days. No one was clamoring to move down here back then. Now, of course, it's a non issue.

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I was being a little flip-- I am friends with several people from the south-- but yeah, there is a culture of prideful ignorance and interest in things most trashy that I just don't get.

 

It just boils down to isolationism and stubbornness.

 

The feeling I've always gotten from most Southern and rural people here is that they are just so resistant to change. Anything new, or anything that challenges the status quo, is seen as immediately contradictory or antagonistic. Whether that be gay marriage, a black president, gun control, whatever. It's not necessarily that it's a liberal idea, (even though that's what they'd have you believe) it's just that it's new and spits in the face of what their parents and grandparents always knew. Any type of open-mindedness is seen as some type of oppositional conformism, and those that are stubborn enough to stay with older ways of thinking just immediately shun it.

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On another note, the bigger subject that this thread is hitting on is something that's been on my mind for over a year now.

In the West, we live like absolute kings. Sure, we have our share of poverty and those in the lower class, but compared to the rest of the civilized world, we have it made. Most of us in North America and Eastern Europe have nice houses, a car or two, a full fridge, heating and air, household appliances, etc. We treat ourselves to restaurants, movies, consumer goods, and all kinds of other luxuries. I don't think that historically there's been another time in which so many people are living so well.

But I can't help but think that it's all on the backs of others. The kinds of people working 18 hour shifts in Chinese sweatshops just to make those luxuries that we in the West demand be produced quickly and cheaply. Most of the electronics we all have in our homes started out at Foxconn. Do a little research on that company and you'll quickly learn about the deplorable and borderline inhumane working conditions there. That goes for tons of those other luxuries too, and I often feel like Westerners are willingly and blissfully ignorant of the unspoken-of subservient class outside of our own culture which is propping it up.

Over here in the more "civilized" part of the world, we're worried about petty little distractions like a Kardashian's ass or whatever Taylor Swift is doing. Over in the rest of the world, families are making just a few dollars a day to be able to survive while they make your iPhone.

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One of the major criticisms of western culture is that we exploit other cultures for our own benefit, and I certainly think we do. The question is how guilty we should feel about it, if at all.

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Personally I feel a lot of guilt over it. My wife and I have made a conscious effort in the past year or so to watch our habits when it comes to consumerism. We buy clothing second-hand or domestically produced, buy groceries locally whenever possible, don't shop anymore at big box retailers, etc.

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Personally I disagree. I think the world is full of haves and have nots and if you're in the camp of the former you shouldn't feel bad about it.

 

It may sound cold, but I think that worrying about the starving kids in Africa is a lost cause. Even if you saved one of them there would be 100 more like them that wouldn't make it.

 

Your outlook is quite common, actually. I think most people feel guilty as hell when the take a hard look at the rest of the world.

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D-Ray, with Christmas coming up, our former church does a big campaign every year to try to make the lives of those in poorer countries a little better. We used to buy goats and apple trees for people, one year we bought a well. It's kind of a neat charity, if you're interested, the website is increasechristmas.org. We used to do it in lieu of giving ourselves Christmas gifts every year.

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