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  #1  
Old 09-03-2017, 08:15 PM
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Default Western Culture, and specifically "American" Culture


Disclaimer: This will be a moderated thread. Discussion will be kept on topic, snark and sarcasm will be verboten. Staff gets to decide what is snark, sarcasm, etc. and reserves the right to cleanse threads of any such pollutants. Name calling will be discouraged.

The Culture Thread.(Specifically ‘Murrican Culture, we can address other cultures)



I’d like to Examine and discuss:
1. What our beginning cultures looked like in the U.S.A.
2. When the culture became almost a monoculture
3. The change from a rural/agrarian culture to an urban culture.
4. The change to the culture via massive “non English” migration starting in the 1890s or so.
5. The Effect of Religion, and specifically Christianity had on the culture(s) of the U.S.
6. How forces such as Entertainment and Academia worked to change the culture. (Such as CBS’s “Rural Purge”)
7. What the US culture looks like? Monoculture? Multiculture? LackaCulture?

These don’t have to be inclusive, and we don’t need to tackle these in order.


Early Continental Northern American Culture (& Ante Bellum Culture)

At one point, mostly Ante Bellum, the U.S. had four distinct migrations with dominant regional cultures. A good tome on the topic would be David Hackett Fischer’s ALBION’s SEED. (I’m partway through the book – I took the bullet points from Wikipedia)

The Exodus of the English Puritans (Pilgrims and Puritans influenced the Northeastern United States' corporate and educational culture)[3]
The Cavaliers and Indentured Servants (Gentry influenced the Southern United States' plantation culture)[4]
The Friends' Migration (Quakers influenced the Middle Atlantic and Midwestern United States' industrial culture
The Flight from North Britain (Scotch-Irish and border English influenced the Western United States' ranch culture and the Southern United States' common agrarian culture)

Other Western European Cultures

Germanic Communities – Germanic communities were often very insular, and tended to be post frontier. When Germans migrated to mountain areas, they tended to blend more than when they were in Wemore pure “farmlands”.

Spanish – Two separate Spanish Cultures – the Floridian settlers, and the Texas/Southwest groups being distinct.

French: Huguenots for example blended into the English Subcultures, specifically into the Cavaliers in the South and with the Scot’s Irish in the Mountain South.

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  #2  
Old 09-03-2017, 09:12 PM
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Good luck with this one. The rules seem a little stiff for the ridiculous subject matter. Who the fuck cares what 'cultures' started this country? It was built on top of an existing culture and reached economic might on the backs of black slaves (without whom, none of it would have been possible).

Now the country IS what it IS.

We can opine about what might have been, but the fact is that we are where we are.

Think of it as golf. Play the ball where it lies. Doesn't matter how we got here; we are HERE now!

Go ahead and delete this comment if you want. I don't care.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:01 PM
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Hi - I'm Myers. I don't want to contribute to topics to discuss, but, even after a no snark edict was placed I went to snark.

Last edited by Mohican; 09-04-2017 at 11:08 AM.. Reason: See the OP
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:12 PM
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I'm Myers. By choosing to be sarcastic instead of either engaging the subject or not responding since I have nothing to add I am and showing my hobgoblins for all to see.

Last edited by Mohican; 09-04-2017 at 11:11 AM.. Reason: see the OP
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:25 PM
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This will be a moderated thread. Discussion will be kept on topic, snark and sarcasm will be verboten. Staff gets to decide what is snark, sarcasm, etc. and reserves the right to cleanse threads of any such pollutants. Name calling will be discouraged.

Last edited by Mohican; 09-08-2017 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:28 PM
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This will be a moderated thread. Discussion will be kept on topic, snark and sarcasm will be verboten. Staff gets to decide what is snark, sarcasm, etc. and reserves the right to cleanse threads of any such pollutants. Name calling will be discouraged.

Last edited by Mohican; 09-08-2017 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:31 PM
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Just to clear things up -- we know Mo isn't a racist.

He has a fictional black friend who speaks jive and sells burner phones!


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Old 09-04-2017, 05:30 AM
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1. The beginning culture of America looked like a concept because, well, that's what a culture is, and was nothing like other cultures of the time, and those of former times as well as later times. Because it was America damnit! American culture was a concept based largely on arbitrary tradition and maintained because, well, maintaining cultures was the done thing, and nowhere else in the world did nations think to do it thusly, hence America was the greatest culture on Earth. The countless many cultures that contributed parts of their culture were in awe of America... The random mish-mash had produced, contrary to all probability, a culture superior to all of them, and a beacon of light in a sea of ashen black. America was a nation of superior people, having been...umm...born elsewhere compared to the rest of the world? Yes, that's it. They were young and free and herion hadn't become mainstream. Bloody commies probably started that too.
2. The culture became a monoculture at it's first inception, not because all cultures are by definition monocultures, but because American culture was special. It had the spark of monism so lacking everywhere else.
3. The de-agrarianization of this once great country is lamentable, tis true. Nowhere else in the world have people turned to such barbaric practices that produce greater yields with less effort. A blight on America, to be sure.
4. The 1890's are to blame for a lot of things, not the least of which was introducing laxity into the use of America's great and original mother tongue ENGLISH. The fact that the fledgeling nation might have adopted German as it's native language, with English winning by a single vote, does nothing to diminish the damage done in later years by people coming and speaking... Wait for it... Different languages! Disgraceful!
5. I prefer to keep my pristine belief in an imaginary father figure aloft in the sky and overseeing the greatness of America while giving his displeasure to the rest of the world to myself, so I'll refrain from commenting on this part.
6. There is, undoubtably and quite disconcertingly, an international conspiracy begun by those infamous commy bastards in the KGB that aims specifically at making national pride an objectionable thing. By national pride I of course mean a positive segregational cleanliness with regard to the races, women who know their proper place, a thorough denouncement of Sodom's surviving sons (and daughters, though they're not so bad as far as the Good Book is concerned), and of course a stringent control of the devil itself - the luciferian liberal, brandishing the sword of technology and the shield of political correctness which he has cunningly emblazoned with the words "common courtesy"!
7. American culture still looks much as it ever did, I guess: like a concept, but this is AMERICA, damnit, so what a culture! A glorious, resplendent, invigorating, descendent...oh, wait, not descendent...original, amazing, triumphant, unsurpassable, shining thing of stupendous and dazzling light! Behold, and tremble! America!

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Old 09-04-2017, 07:59 AM
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In all seriousness, and just in case the above gets taken as anything but the jest I meant it to be:

I’m not bashing America. I’m bashing the intensity of American nationalistic pride. No other country in the world goes about saying it’s the greatest country on earth as often or as loudly as the US. Even if America IS the greatest country currently on earth, and it might be, it’s like the most popular kid in school going around continually and loudly proclaiming himself to be the most popular kid in school. It’s uncouth to say the least, and it might not even be factual in this case.

In terms of natural resources Russia is probably the greatest country. In terms of human resources China probably is. In terms of economies the US undoubtedly is. In terms of empire the UK probably still wins. If it’s a world ranking of best places to live Norway has won three years running. And so on. I think the piece of land you happened to be born on is nothing to be proud of. You could have been born anywhere, after all, and if you are proud about something that fell to chance, then your pride isn't earned and can’t be worth much.

I’d rather be proud of choices I make rather than things over which I had no control. Excessive nationalistic pride to me seems immature at best and dangerous at worst.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:04 AM
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I totally got it and enjoyed it thoroughly.

What you're talking about is the concept of "American Exceptionalism." Yeah -- it''s a thing.

It's not meant to be ironic. This is a self-adopted term used by conservatives here in the U.S. -- and you seem to have a better understanding of it than most Americans.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:17 AM
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Oh -- and another funny thing.

As much as I can find fault with Obama and some of his policies -- one thing he tried to do was acknowledge U.S. militarily and foreign policy blunders of the past -- and in pretty weak terms.

The proponents of "American Exceptionalism" literally took this to mean that Obama "HATES America!"

I'm not making this up...
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:20 AM
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Even here in Australia people sometimes throw the nationalistic "unAustralian" bomb at people with whom they disagree but can't impeach on any rational level. It's a devilishly effective device, unfortunately.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:24 AM
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Oh and you can tie "American Exceptionalism" into the whole "birther" movement -- the idea that Obama's birth certificate was forged and that he was born in Indonesia or Kenya or some nonsense.

The idea being that anyone with brown skin combined with a funny sounding A-RAB Musim sounding name couldn't possibly be a real AMERICAN...
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by eripiomundus View Post
Even here in Australia people sometimes throw the nationalistic "unAustralian" bomb at people with whom they disagree but can't impeach on any rational level. It's a devilishly effective device, unfortunately.
I have a friend who lives in Melbourne -- and when we talk about xenophobia, it seems like two sides of the same coin.

It seems there are similarities -- namely the idea that exceptional people built a great country out of a wilderness populated by primitives. And then all these foreigners are coming in to ruin it all...
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
I have a friend who lives in Melbourne -- and when we talk about xenophobia, it seems like two sides of the same coin.

It seems there are similarities -- namely the idea that exceptional people built a great country out of a wilderness populated by primitives. And then all these foreigners are coming in to ruin it all...
Haha, yeah, there's a lot of that here. Mostly in the country as far as I can tell. In the cities people are exposed more often to diverse races and xenophobia gets diminished. When you see Muslims every single day and none of them ever bomb the shit out of you it gets harder to believe they're all terrorists. But in the country where Muslims are few it's another story.

In my hometown, a country town, some Muslims tried to open a mosque and locals killed a wild boar, cut its head off, and threw it into the site. Not sure if the building ever went ahead after that.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:55 AM
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Oh yeah -- it's very much like that here.

There's often an attempt to block mosques with things like potential traffic problems -- along with minor vandalism.

Cuz, shit -- they're gonna come in here and make us all live by SHARE-EEE-YA law!
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by eripiomundus View Post
Haha, yeah, there's a lot of that here. Mostly in the country as far as I can tell. In the cities people are exposed more often to diverse races and xenophobia gets diminished. When you see Muslims every single day and none of them ever bomb the shit out of you it gets harder to believe they're all terrorists. But in the country where Muslims are few it's another story.

In my hometown, a country town, some Muslims tried to open a mosque and locals killed a wild boar, cut its head off, and threw it into the site. Not sure if the building ever went ahead after that.

And Grace showed up, shocked by Hippopotamus's vignette of life in the States. "No, I don't much comment on these threads", Grace apologised, knowing herself to not be qualified, what with her peaceful and harmonious life in the English countryside. "We have all colours and types of ethnicity here", she continued, "and no issues arising from it", although Grace knew deep down that the fresh and exotic blood had done much to Anglicise itself and blend in - whereas the community would balk at the prospect of a Mosque being erected, justifying their objections on the grounds of preserving the thatched and fragrant history of this picturesque backwater. Then Grace suddenly realised she was not on Flea's thread, and his habit of writing in third in public was rubbing off on her. "So sorry", Grace blushed, "it's the company I keep", she mumbled - reversing out quickly, and clutching her post to deposit it someplace else where it wouldn't be considered a break from the norm then.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:27 AM
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BTW, Mo, we looked at the so called "rural purge" in a media buying class I took.

The details are fuzzy -- but it had everything to do with a proactive move to reach a younger demographic with more buying power. Several old school variety shows and game shows were cancelled at the same time.

Add to that -- these shows were in NO way an accurate reflection of rural life. They were based on rediculous stereotypes and created and approved by the very same people who cancelled them -- who had never set foot in rural America.

It was all about the money -- and nothing to do with an assault on a particular culture.

And P.S. -- how would you explain the subsequent network approval and considerable success of The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie -- two shows that really did espouse the virtues of rural life? Doesn't seem like the kind of thing that the liberal elites would endorse -- except if they made money for the networks, of course.

Last edited by Myers; 09-04-2017 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:28 AM
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"It's ok if you post it here Grace" said Hippopotomus, thinking "I'm hippopotomus right? Or does Grace mean Myers?" Then he went on to wonder at his own ongoing indecisiveness where a thing could not be decided because he thought too much and in the thinking became too entangled in himself. "Maybe I'll just have a drink to clear the mind" he said, knowing that it was just an excuse to do what he already wanted, where it was easy to do what was entrenched and harder to go against. "But the road less traveled is the Frostier" said the hippo, and he put down the bottle and went to bed.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
I'm trying to figure out how we get the homos into this...
you could find a way to relate it to culture. Maybe not
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Oh -- and another funny thing.

As much as I can find fault with Obama and some of his policies -- one thing he tried to do was acknowledge U.S. militarily and foreign policy blunders of the past -- and in pretty weak terms.

The proponents of "American Exceptionalism" literally took this to mean that Obama "HATES America!"

I'm not making this up...
And then Obama went and spread more 'Murrican Exceptionalism across the globe in the form of interference in places like Egypt and Libya......
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
you could find a way to relate it to culture. Maybe not
This will be a moderated thread. Discussion will be kept on topic, snark and sarcasm will be verboten. Staff gets to decide what is snark, sarcasm, etc. and reserves the right to cleanse threads of any such pollutants. Name calling will be discouraged.

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Old 09-04-2017, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
And then Obama went and spread more 'Murrican Exceptionalism across the globe in the form of interference in places like Egypt and Libya......
Of course -- the typical continuation of a failed U.S. policy in the middle east. Does it show he "hates America?"

I don't think so...

Last edited by Myers; 09-04-2017 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by eripiomundus View Post
2. The culture became a monoculture at it's first inception, not because all cultures are by definition monocultures, but because American culture was special. It had the spark of monism so lacking everywhere else.
The Culture became more of a mono culture after the Civil War. I'd say that from WWI to say the 1990s we were mainly a monoculture.

At the time of settling? No. The New England Puritans, the Quakers, and the Southern "Cavalier" class were the "Scots Irish" all had different cultures. The two that were closest in culture and often geography were the Cavaliers and the Scots-Irish .
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Of course -- the typical continuation of a failed U.S. policy in the middle east. Does it show he "hates America?"

I don't think so...
I don't recall ever saying on here that Obama hated 'Murrica. So you're inferring a lot that I didn't say.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:05 PM
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I didn't say you inferred it. Not here anyway.

I was talking about the concept of American Exceptionalism. I know it's your thread, but it's not all about you.

Just track the conversation...
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Just to clear things up -- we know Mo isn't a racist.

He has a fictional black friend who speaks jive and sells burner phones!


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I worked in a very rough neighborhood for about seven years. Imagine a place, if you will, where in about a 1.5 square mile area you had 80 homicides...

My portrayal of Mavis is very light handed. I was probably offered a burner "Obamaphone" at least once a month.

What you are doing here is inferring that a fictional character is someone I claim to be a friend. And implying in a passive aggressive way that I probably don't know any black people, that I hate Jews, blah blah blah.

I'd be worried about except I know the truth of my life, and that you and your fellow traveler have no clue, despite the constant drum beat. Which is kinda cute.

Let's call somebody a racist is that latest lol-worthy way of calling someone Hitler as a means of shaming or shutting down discussion.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by eripiomundus View Post
"It's ok if you post it here Grace" said Hippopotomus, thinking "I'm hippopotomus right? Or does Grace mean Myers?" Then he went on to wonder at his own ongoing indecisiveness where a thing could not be decided because he thought too much and in the thinking became too entangled in himself. "Maybe I'll just have a drink to clear the mind" he said, knowing that it was just an excuse to do what he already wanted, where it was easy to do what was entrenched and harder to go against. "But the road less traveled is the Frostier" said the hippo, and he put down the bottle and went to bed.
Yes, you're the Hippo. Never sure how to pronounce your name, so couldn't remember how it was spelt either No insult or snide insinuations about your size was intended, I assure you.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
I worked in a very rough neighborhood for about seven years. Imagine a place, if you will, where in about a 1.5 square mile area you had 80 homicides...

My portrayal of Mavis is very light handed. I was probably offered a burner "Obamaphone" at least once a month.

What you are doing here is inferring that a fictional character is someone I claim to be a friend. And implying in a passive aggressive way that I probably don't know any black people, that I hate Jews, blah blah blah.

I'd be worried about except I know the truth of my life, and that you and your fellow traveler have no clue, despite the constant drum beat. Which is kinda cute.

Let's call somebody a racist is that latest lol-worthy way of calling someone Hitler as a means of shaming or shutting down discussion.
I'm busting your chops, Mohican.

Do I think you're a racist? No, not really. But I do think a lot of what you say here is rooted in your segregationist fantasies. And it's not always clear just who you want to exclude.

I don't think you even realize how your posts and even you fiction are loaded with bigoted cliches, though.

The character of Mavis is a joke. OK -- so at some point you've interacted with black people --congratulations -- but the portrayal comes across as if it's from someone who learned about Negros from the movies -- combined with "some of my best friends are black!" I think you just don't see it.

If your story didn't come across so much as wish fulfillment, I could chalk it up it to a character portrayal -- but you and I both know the deal.

Yeah -- you know the "truth of your life" -- but we can only judge you by what you post here and the same issues that you flog over and over.

Something to think about maybe.

Last edited by Myers; 09-04-2017 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mohican View Post
I worked in a very rough neighborhood for about seven years. Imagine a place, if you will, where in about a 1.5 square mile area you had 80 homicides...

My portrayal of Mavis is very light handed. I was probably offered a burner "Obamaphone" at least once a month.

What you are doing here is inferring that a fictional character is someone I claim to be a friend. And implying in a passive aggressive way that I probably don't know any black people, that I hate Jews, blah blah blah.

I'd be worried about except I know the truth of my life, and that you and your fellow traveler have no clue, despite the constant drum beat. Which is kinda cute.

Let's call somebody a racist is that latest lol-worthy way of calling someone Hitler as a means of shaming or shutting down discussion.


I don't think you're a racist Mo. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're not. But what you espouse is a longing for the past that is not at all going to happen. You tie the good old days to 'culture' and seem to believe that a strong 'culture' will fix a country or state or whatever. Or maybe that it was great culture back when blah, blah, blah.

Since the modern proliferation of the internet, people have been finding out that almost all modern cultures are comprised of essentially the same people. People who want the same things from life that we do here in the states. People with different religions and traditions, but that who, nonetheless, just want a safe place to raise their families, some kind of way to make a living, and security that someone won't come bomb them.

At the grass-roots level, there is no big culture war. Governments and religions may coerce enough extremists or irrational people to do their bidding but the vast majority of humans are the same. And as connectivity rises, this becomes more and more evident.
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