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Is American culture shallow and superficial?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Sunstone, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    It's often said that American culture is shallow and superficial. Is this true? What do you think?
     
  2. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I can't say for certain. My experiences of multiple cultures outside of reading is a bit limited :p.

    From what I've seen, American culture is simply another culture. Granted, it's rife with materialism, but that comes in times of plenty. It'll pass, and we'll be back to something else (hopefully, it'll pass gently).
     
  3. Saw11_2000

    Saw11_2000 Well-Known Member

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    People who say american culture is shallow are biased. A lot of Americans I bet think their culture is shallow. Classic, if you don't do what I do, you're wrong, crap.
     
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  4. Druidus

    Druidus Keeper of the Grove

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    Culture? :confused:

    :biglaugh:j/k

    It is the same as any other culture, but, as No*s said, it is the culture with (probably) the most materialism.
     
  5. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    If shallow means lack of dept than yes due to the fact that the new people came over less than 500 years ago we have quite a bit less cultural history to our lives than other countries.

    However, superficial is not pratical at this point in our history. We are currently in what is called a bear market combined with an economic downturn. This means trading is more conservative than the norm and our economy has less value than say 5 years ago.

    With the average family earning less money and probably haveing more expenses than just a few years ago most people are making do on less. The first thing to go is luxaries in times like this. Departement stores sales are falling through the floor espcially in electronics and furniture. Auto sales are lower with more conservative cars (as opposed to flashy) being sold than normal. Recreations are being redefined by many in the way of hiking and camping instead of resort trips.

    This economic crunch which is now about 5 years old ( it stared before 9/11 happened), is making many people who are not wealthy much more simple in their pleasure seeking ideas.

    I think that the economy of any country is tied to their level of superficially and the length of the cultures existance is tied to how shallow it is. If my opinion holds merit than the USA, being one of the newer cultures today is going to be shallow by justified comparision and superficailty is becoming less and less practical over here as the economic slump matures.
     
  6. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    I think the biggest problem is that the shallow material part of our culture is the one that everyone sees. (Media, hollywood, music, etc...) I actually think those people are the minority, they just have the biggest voices. Because the simple people have better things to do. :D
     
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  7. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    From what I've seen among my peers, too many people care too much about movies and fashion and not enough about their fellow man and the world. Yes, American culture is shallow and superficial.
     
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  8. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot Well-Known Member

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    Um, yes, there are certainly aspects of American culture that's shallow and superficial, but not all of it.
     
  9. martha

    martha Active Member

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    I think I have to agree with Jensa. Sometimes I wish there was a Good News newspaper and station on TV so that I could see the goodness in day to day life. I get tired of the misery and shock value as the standard.
     
  10. kreeden

    kreeden Virus of the Mind

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    I don’t need your war machines
    I don’t need your ghetto scenes
    Coloured lights can hypnotize
    Sparkle someone else’s eyes


    :) Sorry , I grew up listing to the Guess Who . But yes , it can be very shallow . It can also put a man on the moon ....

    BTW there is a story behind the song " American Woman ". Randy wasn't too happy have a border guard when he wrote it . It seems that when he asked the gaurd directions to the nearest " service station " , the band was sent to the nearest recuiting station . And that was during Vietnam , so I think that he may have had reason to be a little upset .... :)
     
  11. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    I don't think American culture is any more or less shallow than any other western culture.
     
  12. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Have you listenned to conservative talk radio recently? Isn't that shallow?
     
  13. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Is it honestly any less shallow than the opposing side? Conservative talk radio is simply one manifestation of our politics, and if you ask me, both sides can get pretty shallow.
     
  14. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    There is so much to our culture, that I don't see how you can make an overall statement. We come to the rescue of countries in trouble. We have many outreach programs. We have artists, musicians, poets, scientists, engineers, etc. Many people are on a spiritual quest. The fact that we make mistakes shows that we are seeking.
     
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  15. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I actually agree with you, No*s. Even though I'm pretty liberal, I admit that liberal pundits can be as shallow as conservative pundits. Maybe it's just that politics itself tends to be shallow.
     
  16. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Good point, Lightkeeper. It's a sweeping generalization to say that American culture is either shallow or profound. The truth is closer to saying that some aspects of it are comparatively shallow and some aspects of it are comparatively profound.
     
  17. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    OK :).

    I think you're right in that. The best minds tend to go elsewhere. They're in physics or the sciences predominantly now. We can also find them in philosophy, and in the past theology (this is less of a trend now). I find it interesting that I rarely read a political treatise where the author's work simply seems brilliant, but I do in science, philosophy, theology, and so on. I've wondered about that before :).
     
  18. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I'm relieved that the Founders didn't have the same aversion to politics as most of us do today. Maybe the founding of the country was the last time we had many first rate minds engaged in politics.
     
  19. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    That's only a small aspect of our culture. I'm sure you can find the same sort of stuff in many European countries.
     
  20. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't argue with you on that. We were watching one of those news shows this morning and they were discussing the Schiavo case in terms of the political advantage/disadvantage of taking sides. Apparently memos are already circulating among the politicians on how they can best use this for their advantage. Shallow and disgusting.
     
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